Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Well... my aunt and uncle from Florida came today for us to celebrate Christmas together. My kids absolutely adore them. Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jimmy play with them and basically let them do what they want. What's not to love? So anyway, Wyatt asked Aunt Sharon to go outside with him to find some bugs. Our exterminator comes regularly, so I wasn't really that concerned. PLUS, he was going outside with a girl.
After a little while I could hear some excitement building outside. I began to get a tad bit worried that they had in fact found something. And I was right. Not just one something, but FOUR somethings. Frogs. My least favorite things in the whole world. I know they probably serve a higher purpose, but I wish they would all just disappear.
They had found 4 frogs and put them into the bug house. They even managed to find a live bug and put it in there for the frogs to eat. How thoughtful of them... Wyatt happily brought them inside to show me. Man was he proud. We decided that the frogs needed to have some water. And there was a place in the bug house that looked like it was just perfect to hold a little water. But how were we going to get the water in without letting the frogs out?
Well, my creative Aunt Sharon thought it would be a great idea to open the "trap door" instead of opening the whole thing and flick a piece of ice into the little well. I agreed this was a good idea so I did it. As soon as the ice was in place, one of the frogs hopped over. He jumped right onto the piece of ice and guess what? Ever seen A CHRISTMAS STORY? You know the one with Ralphie? You know the part where the little boy gets his tongue stuck on the pole? Well... poor little froggy got his hiney stuck to the ice cube!!! He hopped on, but couldn't hop off!!
I ran to the drawer and grabbed a medicine dropper and quickly filled it with some water. Squirted it on the ice and the frog and Aunt Sharon flicked the frog off. He was okay. A little stunned and cold perhaps, but okay. We won't be trying that again anytime soon.
Sadly, we will be releasing all 4 frogs back into the wild very soon. I just keep hearing some song in the back of my mind. Singing... Who let the frogs out? Who? Who?
Friday, December 26, 2008
For example, Frank and I are very different in the way that we show our excitement. When Frank and I had been dating for about 2 years, our second Christmas together I think, I had saved for months and months to buy him a shotgun that he wanted. I worked my tail off to buy that thing AND to keep it a secret (I am not great at gift secrets). When I gave it to him, he looked it over and stood up. Walked over to me and basically, in front of his whole family, gave me a pat on the back and said "Thanks!". He walked to his room, put it away, and didn't mention it again for the rest of the evening. Needless to say I was crushed.
This is how he typically reacts to things. Even when deep down inside he really is very excited. He just doesn't show it very much on the outside. Unless he's crying and that's another ballgame. I on the other hand react quite the opposite. You can give me a piece of gum and I act like it is the greatest thing in the world. Partly because gift giving is one of my love languages and partly because I am easy to please.
What I discovered this Christmas was that Jackson is very much like Frank and Wyatt and Mallory are alot like me in this area. No matter how excited that Jackson really was, he pretty much just kept it contained. He would give a little smile. He would go off by himself and play with his new games. Then he would surface later to get another one. No jumping up and down or screaming with glee.
Wyatt, however, would tell everyone at 40 decibels above normal listening capacity how whatever dinosaur he was currently holding was the coolest thing he had ever seen or how it was the one he had always wanted. He would also holla things like "Oh Yeah Baby" and "awesome" several times. Mallory would also jump around and giggle at her gifts. And she would loudly tell us how much she liked them.
Made for a great Christmas. I guess what I have always heard is true. The apple really doesn't fall too far from the tree after all. Hmph! Scary!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
We started our fun and festivities with Christmas Eve over at Frank's parents house. We do this every year. We had traditional Christmas dinner and let me just say it was yummo!! I have never had anything that Frank's mom didn't rock the house on! And she did not disappoint this time either!
When dinner was over, of course, it was time for some presents. Everyone picks a spot on the floor and then some "elves" pass out the gifts. The hardest thing is making the kids wait to open their stuff with all those packages sitting in front of them. But once they had the green light, it was on!! This year, I have to say, was by far the best. All of the kids were completely into it and they all understood what was going on. And instead of having 273 gifts each to tear through, they only had a few each. They were things that they really wanted and they weren't overwhelmed with just moving to the next one. And Frank and I weren't overloaded with stuff to bring home and put away!! Let's see... Jackson got some Wii games and a gift card to Gamestop and Toys R Us. Wyatt got a HUGE box of dinosaurs, some walking dinosaurs, and a dinosaur book (do you see a theme here? What can I say, the boy LOVES him some dinos). Mallory got a box of princess dress up shoes (6 different pair), a baby doll stroller and new baby and some fake jewelry. She has clomped around everywhere pushing that stroller.
This morning started off with Jackson getting up at 5am. He went back upstairs. Then back down at 5:30. I didn't know what time it was though, so I invited him to crawl in the bed with us. Wyatt joined us a few minutes later and I glanced at the clock and noticed that it said 5:42am, after my eyes adjusted. They were sent back upstairs. Fifteen minutes later, as I was dreaming again, they came back down asking if NOW it was time to get up. At this point, I gave up, or in, whichever, and got up. Put the quiche in the oven and Frank turned the tree on.
When he did that, the boys saw that Santa had indeed stopped by and they were too excited. By 615am, it was over. Everything had been opened and the boys were busy playing. I was on my second cup of coffee. My parents had spent the night with us so we went ahead and opened gifts with them too. The biggest gift was for my mom this year. I had one of the pictures that Kim had taken and had it put on 20X30 canvas. My dad framed it for her. She really liked it. It was beautiful!!
The morning was completely stress free, believe it or not, considering that I was having 20 people in my house for lunch. We decided to go non-traditional for lunch. Soups and sandwiches. Although, I planned that before I knew that the weather was going to be 75 degrees today! Anyway... we had vegetable soup (made by my mom), chicken chowder (made by Frank's mom) and I made Chicken Tortilla Soup. And I must say, my soup rocked!! It was really good. Good enough for Ryan to say he wanted us to have it on a Friday night dinner!!
Once everyone had gone home and the kids were all napping and everything had been cleaned up.. I took a nap too. A long, hard nap. The kind were you dream AND drool. And probably snore, but I would never admit to that! When we finally got up, it was time to go out to Aunt C's house and have dinner at the barn. It was traditional. (do you see why I chose to have a nontraditional at lunch?)
It was good, but I am glad to be back home in my jammies and getting ready for bed. We just have one more "Christmas" to do on Saturday when my aunt and uncle come from out of town. The kids are super excited about them coming. Hope everyone had a great day!!!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I mean, I know I don't have many shortcomings, but I do struggle tremendously in this department. I do not play nursemaid very well. Well... anyway. I can't help it. I do try. And I start out okay. But somewhere around say hour 2... that's it. I'm done.
I guess I just get irritated that the world doesn't stop for me when I am sick and not feeling well. I remember on one of my visits to the dr. about my migraines they would ask me "when you get a migraine do you go lie down?" And my reply would always be (with a head nod, I might add) Riiiiigght!
See, moms still have to function when we are sick. We still have meals to cook, baths to give, hair to comb, diapers to change, dogs to feed, beds to make, toys to pick up, clothes to wash, dishes that need to be put away, and homework to help with. We do not often get to pull the covers over our head and wish the sickness away. And Lord help us if we ever do... we certainly don't moan every! other! breath!!!
Now, I know what my response to my husband should be when he doesn't feel well. I know that I should respond lovingly. That I should make the kids keep the noise to a minimum *snicker snicker* That I should wait on him hand and foot with a gen u wine smile on my face. I know all of this, I do.
But... If he doesn't stop the moaning and groaning soon, I may have to stick a sock in it! (Glory, praisetheLord)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I did not think to myself that whoever said "This is gonna hurt me more than it will you" so did not have my kids. Because most days... it doesn't.
I did NOT tell my husbands dog that I hoped he mildly choked on the kids toy he was presently chewing on.
I did NOT forget how long it had been since I had shaved my legs.
I did NOT drive around for 3 days saying "What is that SMELL??" in the car
I did NOT remember after 3rd day of saying that that my daughter had pooped in the portable potty I keep in the back of the vehicle when we were at the gas station... and it was still in the back of my vehicle.
I did NOT just throw it away either.
I did NOT almost vomit a little. now. thinking about it.
I did NOT take a nice, long, warm, RELAXING bath... with my kids toys still in the tub.
I did NOT continue watching the kids cartoon for 20 minutes AFTER they had gone outside and I also did not want to find out what happened at the end either.
However, I DID learn a very valuable lesson this week.... BEANO IS YOUR FRIEND GIRLS!!!
Ahhh... I feel very relaxed now! Head on over to MCK to learn the rules of the game!!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights, and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator
If I slave away in the kitchen baking
dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals,
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir's cantata,
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another's home that has
coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
Video games will break.
Pearl necklaces will be lost.
Golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure forevermore.
Friday, December 12, 2008
2 kids up
2 kids dressed
3 beds made
breakfast made and cleaned up
2 lunches made
3 blankets monogrammed
2 puzzles assembled
3 cups of coffee drank (not all by me thankyouverymuch)
2 Bible studies done
2 school bags packed
3 sword fights had
1 kid taken to bus (at end of driveway)
2 dogs fed
1 large dog successfully chased by small child w/cap gun around the island 12 times.. in a row.
Have I mentioned that it's 7:15am?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
There are some days when I don't shut the clothes drawers all the way... and still walk out of the room anyway.
There are some days when I wish I could go on vacation... permanently.
There are some days when I DO shut the drawers, but there is underwear or a sock hanging out... and I leave it.
There are some days when I look at my legs and wonder just exactly how long HAS it been since I have shaved...
There are some days that I don't brush the kids teeth until noon...ish.
There are some days that after going to the gym, I go to bed that night... withOUT taking a shower.
There are some days that I don't clean up breakfast until I am getting supper ready.
There are some days that I KNOW my kids are doing something they are not supposed to, but I just look the other way because I am too tired to deal with it right then.
There are some days that I go to town... and forget to brush MY teeth.
There are some days that I don't put on a bra.
There are some days that I would like for my HUSBAND's dog to run away.
There are some days that I look around and think of how lucky I am to have this life.
There are some days I look around and think what did I do to DESERVE this life.
There are some days when good enough is... good enough.
There are some days when the dishwasher doesn't get loaded until the morning.
There are some days when I think "I'll do it later"... and I never do.
And there is EVERYDAY when I thank the Lord that I can start over... everyday.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The last dare says WRITE OUT A RENEWAL OF YOUR VOWS AND PLACE THEM IN YOUR HOME. PERHAPS, YOU COULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO FORMALLY RENEW YOUR WEDDING VOWS BEFORE A MINISTER AND WITH FAMILY PRESENT. MAKE IT A LIVING TESTAMENT TO THE VALUE OF MARRIAGE IN GOD'S EYES AND THE HIGH HONOR OF BEING ONE WITH YOUR MATE.
I knew that this was coming because I had of course looked ahead. So, I casually mentioned this to Frank this morning. I wish I could tell you that we had a, uhm, moment. And we did. We had the kind of moment that we typically have. We had the kind of moment that "fits" for us. Let me enlighten you. It went a little something like this.
A: You know what today is in the dare, don't you?
F: No, what.
A: We are supposed to renew our vows. *smirk and very big chuckle while trying not to look at him*
F:*silence and also trying not to smile*
A: You know, I was thinking since our 10yr anniversary just happens to be coming up in January...
F:*now playing along* Well since Steph and Ry ARE going too and Steph does have her seminary degree, she could officiate and Ry could be our witness.
A:exactly! and we could make snow angels and make a big heart in the snow with our initials in it!
A:and I could pull out my wedding dress and wear it again for you!
F: i don't care if you have lost 60lbs, you ain't fittin' in that thing again.
A: *not laughing and not smiling* excuse me...
See, those are the kind of moments that we have together. I am just telling you gals, it ain't gonna happen. We are not going to renew our vows. However, we can take some time to remember why we did this crazy thing called marriage. If you want to renew your vows, that is great and I really do think that it's sweet. Hey, Jon and Kate did it and I loved it!!
Just because the "dare" is over doesn't mean that the journey has to be. Quite the opposite actually. I think the best has really just started. As I really start focusing on Frank's needs and not my own. As I start to focus on the successes in our marriage instead of the failures. As I give him permission to be imperfect. As I concentrate on changing myself instead of him. With all of these things finally beginning to take more of a priority, how can things do anything BUT get better?
I love the way that this book has made very clear the difference between the worlds view of marriage and God's view of marriage. See, the world views marriage more as a contract. A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust and it lists the rules and conditions of the agreement. And although there are consequences, it can be broken. God's view of marriage is a covenant. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust. Your promise is unconditional and good forever. It is spoken before God and out of love for each other.
Contracts are self-serving and comes with limited liability. It can be broken with mutual consent. Covenants are for the benefits of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has NO expiration date. It is intended to be unbreakable.
God made several covenants throughout the Bible. He made one with Noah (Gen. 9:12:17), with Abraham (Gen. 17: 1-8), with Moses (Exodus 19: 3-6), with David (2Sam. 7: 7-16) and with those who believe in Him (Heb 9:15). Not one time has God ever broken His covenants. He does not enter into them lightly.
Keeping a marriage covenant is not something that we can do on our own. That's why we need someone who has never broken a covenant before to lead us and to guide us through it. God. He alone is the One who can do it.
The time is now. Don't wait until tomorrow to start loving your spouse the way that God intended. You and I don't have that promise. Your life depends on it. Their life depends on it. Your marriage depends on it. Go ahead. I dare ya...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Endurance. Finishing. All the way to the end. Sometimes, if I am really honest, I have a hard time with this. I start well, but don't always finish well. Especially if the road is bumpy or the journey is long. I can give up too easily if it hurts too much. This is also a sad reality in many marriages today. The road gets too bumpy and hurts too much. We get in too many collisions. And one or both give up.
But the Word tells us that love never fails. It doesn't say sometimes or many times or often. It says NEVER.
We can love imperfect people with a perfect love because of Christ. If we build our relationships on the Word, no matter how often our circumstances change, those truths will still be standing. It's not too late to start building your marriage on the Word of God now if you haven't already.
Jesus' disciples still forsook him. They still failed Him and they still walked away. And your spouse may still walk away from you after you have done everything in your power to obey God. If your marriage fails, if your spouse walks away from you, don't let it be because you gave up. Don't let it be because YOU stopped loving them. Love Never Fails.
The dare for today is to SPEND TIME IN PERSONAL PRAYER, THEN WRITE A LETTER OF COMMITMENT AND RESOLVE TO YOUR SPOUSE. INCLUDE WHY YOU ARE COMMITTING TO THIS MARRIAGE UNTIL DEATH, AND THAT YOU HAVE PURPOSED TO LOVE THEM NO MATTER WHAT. LEAVE IT IN A PLACE THAT YOUR MATE WILL FIND IT.
So, I wrote this letter. It didn't take long at all. Because can I just tell you that after almost 10 years of marriage, I really never thought that it would be like this. Even though I screw up all the time. And even though there are times that we treat each other poorly. And even though there are days, there are days that we don't like each other very much. I still love him more than I ever thought possible. Really I do.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I loved the trip itself. Just me and my coffee and warm hiney and music up real loud. It was great. I made really good time and just as I expected, Gertrude did not disappoint. Ang's place is beautiful!!! And she ran out to meet me with a big smile. We gave each other a hug and headed towards the house.
Three of the 4 Things came out to greet me, and for me, it was love at first sight. They are all so precious. Then I got to meet TB&H. He is a great guy. In fact, I told Frank when I got back that I thought he would like him a lot. Very down to earth and funny. We curled up on the couches and talked and talked and talked. We headed down to the barn and I met the horses and gave some of them a good rub. They are beautiful.
The Things all wanted me to climb up in the hayloft with them to show me their "fort with a hot tub" that they made up there out of haybales. Of course, I scaled the ladder with them and surveyed their work. It was really cute. I even went in the fort with them and ended up with hay all in my hair just.like.I.like.it.
TB&H made lunch for us. Yes, how I do love a man that fixes food. After lunch, Ang showed me her wedding pictures per my request. For some reason, we laughed a lot at them. Not because they looked funny, but at the stories that went along with them. Then we roped Thing 1 into taking a bazillion pictures. We had to approve them before he could stop. I thought he was going to end up a professional by the time we told him he could stop. Either Ang wouldn't like they way she looked in one or I wouldn't like the way I looked. I needed some pictures with the Things too.
Then my time was over all too quickly and I had to head back to Atlanta. I was really sad to go. I truly felt like I was somewhere I had been a thousand times before. Kinda like coming home. I felt like I had known all of the Things since their birth. And thankfully, they treated me like they had known me all along. I never felt "new". I felt old. But in a good way.
And after I left, the talking didn't stop there. I think that we sent each other about a thousand texts. From about 5pm until 930pm we texted back and forth. Ang, I hope you have unlimited texting. If you don't, add it to your plan NOW when you get your new cool phone. :) I am glad that now I don't have to refer to her as just my bloggy friend. Now, she is my real life friend too.
I will have to post the pictures tomorrow when I get back. I can't put them on this computer that we brought! But you can go HERE and see some now!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Oh, well, nothing I can do now except try to cover it up with some makeup. I seriously watched TRANSFORMERS on HBO before I got in the shower. I didn't realize how much I liked it. It was really impairing my ability to get dressed.
Anyhoo, I made sure that I left in plenty of time, seeing as that I am somewhat directionally challenged. Not a fact I am proud of, but what can you do. GET A GARMIN that's what. Me and Gertrude are tiiiiight!!!!!
I pulled into the parking lot and because I was a little early, I sat there for a few minutes fiddling w/my iPod. And that's when I started really thinking. What if she doesn't like me? What if I don't like her? What if we have nothing to talk about? What if we are both sitting in there waiting on the other and don't recognize one another? Should I have told her what I would be wearing? What if she stares at my BIG OLE ZIT on my face the whole time?
Sometimes, I let my mind get the best of me. But, I decided to go ahead and go in. I waited for just a very few minutes and I saw her come in. I knew she recognized me too and we gave each other a big hug (didn't know she wasn't a hugger. she did a good job :) And everything I had worried about was long gone. I mean, I still worried about the zit on my face so I made a joke about it.
We talked non stop. If I took a breath, she jumped in. When she took one, I did. I felt like I had been talking to someone I had known since high school. She is a really cool girl and I am sooo glad we got to hang out. Next time, we will have to have a longer lunch. The time went by way to quickly. The picture that the little waiter guy took makes me look like I did nothing but drink the whole time. I promise I didn't. :) And you can't even see the zit.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Another dream of mine is to have my own horse barn. Not a big elaborate barn, just nice, clean and spacious. With something other than dirt for floors, if you know what I mean. I would love to be able to somehow one day incorporate the two dreams into one. Letting the kids, all of the kids, help me out in the barn. To teach them ALL how to ride and have them go with me on trail rides.
I wonder how many of us know what kind of dreams our spouses have.
Today's dare says ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOUR MATE WOULD WANT IF IT WAS OBTAINABLE. COMMIT THIS TO PRAYER, AND START MAPPING OUT A PLAN FOR MEETING SOME (IF NOT ALL) OF THEIR DESIRES, TO WHATEVER LEVEL YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
Well, I thought I knew what Frank's dream was. But over the last several days through some conversations we have had, I learned that his dream may have changed somewhat. I thought that I was already helping him to take steps to obtain his dream. And, I still may be, just not on the level that I thought I was.
You and I need to take the time to find out what kind of dreams our spouse has. It may not be anything that can be bought with money. It may be your time and attention. Or to go away with you, WITHOUT the kids. Love is careful to take notice of whatever those dreams may be. We should think about overwhelming our spouse with love.