Friday, March 30, 2007

The things I take for granted are amazing!

My husband is so sweet natured-not to say he does not have his moments-but he is much more even keel than I am. It is his nature to be nice and friendly unless provoked to do otherwise.(Yes, I am often provoking) All that to say, I have been making an effort to just be nice. Somtimes I just forget to speak or give a hug or say hello even. It is kind of ridiculous. Sometimes I do it with people I pass in the hall at church as well. Greetings are important. It feels good to be greeted. Especially by someone you love and have missed all day.

So this morning I just so happen to be awake while Erik was dressing in our bedroom and I said "Good morning!" Keep in mind there are two unusual things here-I was both awake and coherent. Erik looks at me and says, "Were you talking to me or the dog?". Now in my defense, the dog was right beside me. However, it kind of speaks volumes about my lack of sweetness to my man. I'll be working on that. I believe nothing says I love you like a home-cooked meal and clean undies-but "Good morning" 's and "Hello, how was your day?" 's certainly rank right up there too.

How about you? Anyone else forgot their manners with your mate?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

On blogging...

I had a conversation with two much beloved people on blogging last night. Neither of them blog but one of them does read a few. It was interesting to get a different perspective from my own. I love to read and write posts on blogs. They don't like it. They do not like that thoughts and struggles are shared online with total strangers. They don't like that sometimes family is left out of the loop. They believe others are hurt unintentionally and that is a big deal.

There is a transparency that I just crave-from myself and others-through blogging. However, it is a little one-sided. There are people out there who are reading my blog and making judgements about me that may have never met me. There may also be people who know me well that read my blog and discover a part of my personality that they never knew before. This may improve or damage our relationship. I hope I have not hurt anyone through blogging. It has always been my intention to be open and honest but also for this to serve as a journal. Someday, I want my children to read this and know that I struggled with all of the same things I know they will struggle with some day. I hope I inspire them to keep chugging on and look for God in all things. I hope I do that with anyone else that reads as well.

What are your thoughts on blogging? My blogging?
Good morning!

Oh how I love Thursday. Mon-Wed. are so busy and so Thurs and Fri become our down days. We can do fun things or just home things and either way, it is a blessing. Today we will do fun things and home things.

I have a list two miles long of things to do, but I am only going to do about the top 10. I am but one person and other things will just have to wait. Easter is just around the corner and I have an excitement that matches my children's. I can't decide if I should have the bunny bring me diet coke, mello yello, or Mr. pibb-all favorites. Maybe a sip of each one.

Next Monday is our troop Easter egg hunt and the girls have voted to do the exact same thing we always do. We make a bunny head cake and then decorate it. The only change this year is that they did vote for individual bunny heads. Then we will have a contest to see whose cake is best. They also agreed to lose their cool-ness for a bit to hunt eggs since they will have money in them. I have mostly 5th grade, 1 -4th grader, 2- 6th graders, and 2 -8th graders, and Lilly the kindergardner. The two sixth graders are the coolest right now but they promised they could forget their coolness for one day and just have fun.

Oky doky, I am going to start my top ten things along with some laundry and hope to get some things really accomplished. I wish you a productive day and I hope you wish me the same!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vacation continued...

We headed for Karri's house Friday after yet another continental breakfast. (I kept hoping for eggs and bacon at one of those breakfasts but the hottest we got was a waffle.) We got there just a little while before lunch. Her home is beautiful as is the property they are on. The kids had a great time playing with scooters, go-kart,& four-wheeler. Mostly though, I think they all enjoyed having someone to play with that was not a sibling. We also got to visit with a fellow KY girl, Rebekah, who was visiting with the oldest daughter. The two of them were so good at keeping the peace among the girls that we hardly ever had a fuss. When you are talking about 7 girls ranging from 2-13 that is impressive! Bentleigh and Rebekah are both such fine young ladies-I hope my daughters picked up on some of their behaviors!

Since we were there on the weekend, we offered to help them do some of the yardwork they had already planned. We had been eating and lazing for so many days, we were eager to do something. So we helped enough to catch a little sun and actually burn some calories. That night we may or may not have had blue margaritas and a hot tub soak. I shall never tell, you can just wonder.

Karri's friendship has been such a blessing to me. She has taught me so much about homeschool and how you have to use the flexibility to your advantage. I started out very rigid and regimented but as I learned to relax and enjoy the journey, it has become more of a blessing. It is so easy to burn out when you are too structured, but lack of structure will do you in as well. I guess that is why the co-op works for me right now. I got a little too relaxed. In all things there must be balance, but there also must be joy. Joy is a precarious thing when you are together with your children all the time. Karri is one of those people that make life look so simple and easy. You would never guess that she has five children because she isn't stressed out all the time. I am at least slightly stressed most of the time.

The next day we went to church with them and it was a very stretching experience. I enjoyed it alot. It has gotten me in the word checking on how I feel about some of the issues. That is always a big plus. I am a pretty liberal thinkier when it comes to church denominations. I believe very few of the issues that divide us are heaven or hell. I also trust a sovereign God who will work it all out to HIS glory if we always make sure we are deepening the relationship with Him. The relationship is what is key, not the sign on the building. We left after the potluck and went back to get everything packed up and loaded up to head to Beaumont(actually China, TX)last stop on the TEXAS TORNADO tour.

We arrived at Erik's uncle's house just in time for supper. It was delicious-I don't think we had a bad meal or a small meal when we were gone. Erik's Uncle Roy and Aunt Connie were so happy we came to visit! We visited a bit before bedtime-we were all exhausted! Uncle Roy works very part time as a butcher and he had to get up very early the next day. Aunt Connie also had to work early and we were just pooped from staying up too late the night before. The next morning, Uncle Roy was home by the time we got up(8 ish!) and he made us some wonderful breakfast. Then we drove down to see the lake where he fishes and the property he hunts on, but it was too muddy to go very far back. Later, we ventured into Beaumont to see the sights, which for us was mostly a couple of very large ships that were docked in the Harbor of Beaumont. I have never seen such a large ship in my life. I can't even imagine working on one of those! We tried to see a museum but it was still repairing from the hurricane. It was very troubling to see that there were still so many repairs not made since the hurricane. I can't even imagine what some of the Alabama and Mississippi towns that were so devastated must look like. Of course, all you really hear about is New Orleans and they received so much less damage and so much more money. The sqeakiest wheel.

We left on Monday around 3Pm and headed toward Texarkana. We were again hoping to make it to Little Rock but this time we settled for Hope, AK-home of Bill Clinton. The next morning at breakfast, the hostess kept going on and on about him to fellow travelers. She was talking about how nice he was and how smart Hillary was. I threw up a little. I managed to avoid making eye contact with her because I knew I would be unable to contain myself if she actually spoke those words to me. A quick thank you and we were off to load up and head for KY.

It was so good to get home. We had so much fun and Erik really enjoyed getting to know each of the families we visited better. Texas is awesome.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Top ten things on my mind:

10. I worry about the way we discipline our children. I want to disciple more and spank less. Spanking is easier but less effective. I want more unity between hubby and I in this area as well.

9. As the end looms near to my scout troop, I am apprehensive about starting a new scout chapter and uncertain as to how that will look and what it will entail.

8. I am still in vacation mode and I hope it passes tomorrow!!

7. My kids are still in vacation mode and I hope it passes tomorrow.

6. We are out of milk and some other essentials even though we just went to the grocery.

5. Hubby and I are very poor communicators and I wish I knew how to make it better. We truly don't speak the same language.

4. I want to do more Pampered Chef work but cannot seem to squeeze it in right now because I am out of the practice of squeezing it in.

3. I am no longer even remotely on track for reading the Bible in 90 days. I want to get back on track. My time is not well managed and alot of things are slipping by. I am hating it.

2. I desperately want a diet coke. Easter seems so far away.

1. God is in control and he has a plan for my life even when it seems all jumbled and mixed up like it is right now. He has a plan and preference for everything on this list. I am overly hormonal and hoping to give it all to Jesus and not take any of it back. God is in control, God is in control, God is in control....
Bear with me on these vacation posts. They really are more for my benefit than yours. My memory is not very long and I will forget if I don't recap in my "journal"(blog). So we left Rockwall heading out toward Abilene. It was so much quicker than I thought it would be. We had no trouble finding our hotel, we got unloaded and headed to Chad & Stephanie's where supper was waiting for us. It was delicious!! After that we just visited and let the kiddos play. It was a little awkward at first (keep in mind Steph and I are great friends-soul sistas-but our hubbies are just aquainted) and I worried in vain that it might not go well. In no time at all it was late and we needed to get back to our hotel yet we were all reluctant to give up our visiting time.

The next day we planned a trip to Frontier Texas museum and it was great! It was so kid friendly. Very hands on and interactive. I believe kids can learn so much more when all their senses are involved! Especially the young ones. It ends with a movie in a round room where everyone is on a turning stool. You actually get to spin your stool around to look at all of the things going on up above your head. I don't think my kids will ever forget that all Indians were not friendly as they recall the scene where a mom and daughter are in their cabin and as you spin your stool around there is a painted war-faced Indian in every window. Scary. It also culminates in a fire because the oil lamp gets dropped in fright. Yes, it is crystalized in my brain as well. The whole museum gave me a refresher in appreciating the hard lives the first settlers lived. Sometimes it gets romaticized a bit. It was anything but romantic.

We then met Chad for lunch at the famous Harold's BBQ. It is such a local legend, greatly recommended. Erik loved it. The kids and I not so much. The memory of the reflux I experienced from the sauce lingers with me still. After that we all went back to our own place so Steph could get naps in for her young 'uns and I could prepare for her Pampered Chef party later that evening. I decided to make hot pizza dip and Tiramusu brownies. They were both a big hit and her party was fun. It was a nice and casual party so I answered alot of questions about PC and the business. It is such a great company to work for and at least two of the ladies there are more than a little interested in more info. I love that I work for a direct sales company that is not a rip-off and no one ever walks away from it wishing they hadn't done it or in debt. They really are too good to be true. (Sales pitch over now). I just mention that to say that I have worked sales jobs in the past and they were less than honorable. I once worked for a car dealership where I had two weeks of almost $1000 in commission checks. They were amazed to receive my two weeks notice. My integrity was worth more to me than that amount of money. I could not work there and keep it.

While we were partying, the men folk went out for Mexican food and then to our hotel to swim with ALL 7 kids. We love you darling hubbies!! After the party, Steph and I had a girl's night out. We went out for a late supper and then hung out at starbucks. I tried Spiced Chai Latte. I liked it alot. Sort of similar to pumpkin pie. We caught up on our girl talk. She drove me by Highland Church of Christ so I could be a bit of a stalker. It looks quite enormous and I would love to have been able to sit in on a service under Preacher Mike but it wasn't meant to be this trip. This is actually not where Stephanie goes to church either, so I probably would have gone with her anyway.

We left the following day for Fredericksburg. Very neat city. Totally full of tourist shops. We bought some excellent jerky. We ate at a German restaurant (Erik was delighted), went through the Pacific War Museum and walked too far for too long on stomachs that were way too full. Not to full for ice cream though. I was tired and whiney. Mostly just very hot and miserable because I had eaten like a pig at a trough at the German Restaurant.

I did not want to stay overnight there. I can only stand so much shopping. Not very much either. Too many choices overstimulate my brain and bring out the consumer in me which then breeds discontent in my heart. I start longing for a home more like a Southern Living magazine spread and forget how much I love my home. Skipping the shopping is just easier.

We left out of there to San Antonio where we had big plans and dreams of exploration. Unfortunately the whole town had not a single hotel room available for our weary heads and so we had to skip it all together. In hindsight, I am glad. They dye the river green for St. Patrick's Day and it would have been WALL TO WALL!! I would have been very grumpy. We called my firend Karri and let her know we would be along earlier than planned and made sure that was OK. This cut our trip short by 2-3 days which was another blessing. We will go to San Antonio another time when we have planned more and certainly booked a hotel! ( : We did not find a hotel until Columbus which is really close to Houston and very far from San Antonio.

The next morning we left for Karri's and we got there a little before noon. It was so good to see her again. I will recap that visit more tomorrow in the final installment of vacation.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I am only posting this because mine is sooooo accurate!

I loved a phone because that's how I play.

Borrowed from who borrowed from Busy Mom:

Pick the month you were born - (Feb)
Pick the day (number) you were born - (3rd)
Pick the color of shirt you are wearing - (black)
Now type out the sentence you made using the answers below:

Pick the month you were born:
January----------I kicked
February--------I loved
March------------I punched
April---------------I swam with
May---------------I choked on
June---------------I murdered
July----------------I did the Macarena with
August-----------I had lunch with
September------I danced with
October----------I sang to
November-------I yelled at
December-------I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a Mexican
6-------a flamingo
7-------my cell phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friend's boyfriend
10------my neighbor
11------my science teacher
12------a banana
13------a fireman
14------a stuffed animal
15------a goat
16------a pickle
17------a squirrel
18------a spoon
20------a baseball bat
21------a ninja
22------a snowman
23------a noodle
24-- ----your mom
25------a football player
26------my sister
27------my brother
28------an ipod
29------a permanent marker
30------a llama
31------a zombie

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:

White----------because I'm very pretty.
Black----------because that's how I play.
Pink------------because I'm cool like that.
Red-------------because the voices told me to.
Blue------------because I can see the future.
Green----------because I love to boogie.
Purple----------because your mom's cool.
Gray------------because the voices in my head told me to.
Yellow---------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars.
Orange---------because I tripped over my house.
Brown----------because I love my pillow.
Other-----------because I'm a ninja.
None-----------because I can't control myself

Let me know what your ridiculous sentence is!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

After JFK museum, we met Bret for lunch at On the Border and we were introduced to fresh flour tortillas with butter. EVIL! Yummy! The food there was spicy for me, wimpy taste buds, but everyone else loved it. I was full after chips and flour tortillas anyway. We then went to Bret and Summer's church and met all Bret's co-workers, everyone was really super nice. We also got to visit a bit with Lesli-Kayla was soooo glad to see you Lesli!! We ended up not being able to visit wth Lesli later because of her having to pack and Ryan having school stuff, so I was glad to see her during our afternoon visit. I WILL VISIT E-town soon, I will feel justified having both Julie and Lesli there!! Plus, it is totally a day trip!

Preston Road has such a great kid's program-from what we could see. I loved the kids under construction theme, because they are!! Seems like the whole church got in on the decorating for it too. I love when kids are the focus of a church(after God, of course!!). They are the future of the church but more importantly-lifetime impressions are made in the formitive years. Our perceptions of God and church are made. Alot of lost people are lost because they were not cherished and honored in the church of their childhood. I digress, I really enjoyed touring the church! Plus the neighborhood all around was sooooooooooooo beautiful. Probably because it is such a wealthy neighborhood-but it was pretty anyway.

Speaking of neighborhoods-Bret and Summer's house is so new and spacious, Erik got a good case of house fever. I think he is finally over it as we are getting back into the groove of home. It is easy to get a case of the "wants" when staying in a house nicer than your own, but I truly feel there is no place like home. We may be COZIER than other houses, but I really like it here.

Later in the evening, after supper, Summer and I slipped away to Target. Good times. I love Target. I cannot figure out for the life of me why we don't have one-but we don't. Soon maybe. We returned home rather quickly and enjoyed a round of Dominoes with our dear hubbies. Of course, I was the grand champion of the night...if you go by the highest score. Of course, scoring correctly, I was the customary last place.

Next day, we let the kids play and worked on laundry and packing both families up. We were moving on because "Fish and houseguests both stink after 3 days"-I think that is Ben Franklin wisdom. We leave after two just to make sure we don't stinkify anything and we "always leave them wanting more, not wishing for less!" and They were packing for a spring break trip to sea world. Hopefully we were a help not a hinderance.

Bret and Summer are wonderful hosts and we enjoyed our visit very much. Please allow us to reciprocate if your family would ever hear of it!!

Summer-I NEED the pancake recipe. YUM! Scratch pancakes that taste great!! My scratch pancakes usually taste like scratch...heehee.
Trip Recap!

Saturday, March 10-left our home a little after 6PM. We meant to leave by 4 or 4:30 but it did not happen. Mike (what a wonderful friend!) came and picked up Toby at 5PM and was shocked we were still home. We left out hoping to making to Little Rock but settled into a Holiday Inn Express in a town called Lonoke, AK just a little this side of LR.

Sunday-got up and feasted on our continental breakfast and then headed for Rockwall to Bret and Summer. We did not want to arrive to early because I remember Sundays with Toddlers!! We made arrangements to meet up with Jettybetty in the afternoon. Bless her heart, she was so patient as we tried to figure out just how far apart we were. Thank goodness she had brought reading material!! I hope we were worth the waiting. We had a wonderful visit and she is such and encourager!! The children were fairly well behaved and she made our pic and posted it on her blog many days ago (see her on the links if interested in seeing that Chili's pic!) After we dined, Bret came and got us so we could follow him home. We said our goodbyes to Jettybetty and headed off. Summer and I took care of many youngsters during care group, she the older ones, me the two littlest ones. I appreciated playing simple play with the babies, she enjoyed a break (I hope) and played red rover with the bigger ones. They have a neat small group and we enjoyed visiting with them. That night we stayed up a bit and visited. Next day we went into Dallas to see The Sixth Floor Museum where JFK was shot. The room in the Texas School Book Depository where JFK was shot from has been converted into a really awesome museum. It was very interesting and I think all of us really enjoyed it and learned alot.

Dallas, part 2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I have written about three posts lately that are lost in bloggy land. AAAAUUUUGGGHHHH! Very frustrating. We are still kind of in vacation mode, I am starting to kick in to back to work mode-about three hours late according to Erik's liking. The weather is gorgeous here and the kids and dog are playing outside again. We got bonnets as souvenirs in Frontier Texas and it seems to have been a wise investment.I will do a play by play on our vacation soon. These lengthy posts are the ones that have been lost, of course. I will write them in word first then cut and paste. I'm not doing all that work again to have it disappear!!Enjoy your Wednesday. This is my second Wednesday as I thought all day yesterday was Wed. only to be corrected by Erik after I told Mike we would not be at church last night. Vacation messes with you head!! I will not be back on track again until next week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

We are home now!! I am so happy. We got in about 2 hours ago and went to retrieve our dog and our mail. The girls are playing in their yard which apparently they have missed. Toby is out there too, so I guess he missed his yard as well. We are two days early returning because we did not expect San Antonio to be booked solid within a 50 mile radius. There will be other trips to Texas in our future though(I hope, I LOVED TEXAS!!), so we will catch it next time.

We had a wonderful time, I will post more later, for now, I will be enjoying home

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Oh my goodness, the hospitality of my friends is top notch.

I am having a hard time being the recipient of so much generosity and overall spoiling and pampering at every stop. My friends Summer, Steph, and Karri are ruining me. I have gained at least ten pounds (which I needed-I am on the get as fat as I possibly can for swimsuit season!) and still the good food marches on. We are loving this trip and it is so good to connect again with friends I am so out of touch with. My hormones and emotions are really high right now, so I am laughing alot and crying alot-but other than that-great times. (I am totally blaming carbs and sugar because I can!)

The hardest part of being the recipient of so much hospitality is the inability to ever pay it back. I hope they will come to the Eicholtz bed and breakfast sometime-but I am not sure that is doable for any of these families. Please do if you can ladies-you have earned a free stay at our ***-three star inn.

I also met the wonderful and encouraging Jettybetty and she is just as fabulosa in person!! I can't wait til my kids are grown and...just kidding-I am loving almost every minute. Or maybe every other minute. (See her link in my sidebar to go see the chili's picture!)

Today we are shoveling poop. My kids are so excited. We do love gardening and we hope to be a help to our good friends with their horse poop relocation program.

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sorry so long since I posted!!!

I am busier than a one legged cat in a litter box.

Date night went well. We went out to eat, ate too much and then went to Walmart to get some things we needed. Typical married people dates. Comfortable, practical. Like an old shoe. Sometimes it isn't that way but I guess it is nicer to be comfortable than always be nervous wondering what the other person wants to do. I know my man wants to be home in his underwear watching TV. I don't have to wonder.

Two things haunting my brain:

My hair. I am trying to grow it out and I am a little "fluffy" right now. I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. I love to hate it...heehee. I like the softness of my hair, so I cannot stand styling products. Yet styling products would make it so much tamer. When I was about 30 or 31 my hair turned curlier. It had always been kind of wavy, but I have real full-blown curl now. It is very uncooperative and unpredictable. I had finally learned my hair and all its limitations and now I am still at square one. Frustrating. I am gonna grow it one more time and see what happens. People think I am losing weight as it gets longer, so I think it is the right track to be on. ( ;

The second thing weighing heavily on my brain is the lack of order to my home. In order for us to have more order, one of two things HAVE to happen. More space or less stuff. As flylady says "You cannot organize clutter". Oh no, you can't. I love our home. It is so "us". We did so much of the work ourselves and it just feels so much like mine. And our yard, our glorious wonderful yard. I just can't imagine being happier anywhere else. Except the cleaning thing.

Anyway, I checked a whole bunch of books out from the library on clutter and stuff and organizing. I have some ideas and a garage full of stuff to either be yard-saled or given away.(I think I sowre to never have a sale again, didn't I??!!) I look forward to making some huge progress, SOON.

I also checked out Pride and Prejudice and it is a good book. What a flowery vocabulary Jane Austin had. I've learned alot.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Date night!

We are going on a date tonight, even though there are a million other things we should be doing. My friend was willing and available to babysit so we are sooo happy to go out and about. Part of the date will be errands, but that is OK because we are still alone and that doesn't happen often.

Well, as soon as he gets his cell phone lined out, we are going. He is on with technical support so hopefully it isn't one of those ten hour phone calls. So, of course, I am cashing in on the opportunity to blog because I must use up some words or I will overwhelm man of few words.

Toby is chaisng the cat all over the house and it is quite funny. Kids are not home so leave it to Toby to be chasing the cat and barking. (Erik is on the phone, don't forget) If it's not one thing, it's two.

Vacation looms ever nearer and I am about to burst at the seams with excitement. Obviously, my family didn't get out much to vacation when I was a kid, so it is an awesome treat to get to travel. On the other hand though, Erik's family did travel and he loves it too. My middle name is "go" and I live up to it every chance I get.

Just like a real date, we can't decide where we are gonna go eat. Some things never change. I am taking my acid reflux medicine NOW and totally drinking water (not tea, juice or milk-my other options). I really miss fizz. The other night I mussed up my hair and did my best addict imitation and told Erik how bad I needed a "fix" of soda. This is only day 17. PITY-FULL!

Phone call still goes on. Gonna go do a load of laundry. Whites to fold and a new one to start.
Making progress!!

Kitchen counters are clean, refrigerator is cleaned, 3 loads laundry finished, Lilly's room is cleaned out(I warned her if she did not pick up...) and the bar is cleaned off. Woohoo! I am hoping to get alot more done tomorrow night. I would like the whole house to be clean, smell clean and stay clean for longer than 2 minutes.

Tomorrow I will be up bright and early for round two.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I love Co-op!

It isn't perfect, or they would not let me in, but it is so neat to have once a week exposure to other moms!! We had such an off-kilter week and it suited us all very well. Everyone just adapted to it and went on. Next week will be off-kilter as well, and the same thing will happen again. I also love the communication issues we don't have, because if something is "up"-THEY TELL YOU! Bravo for that. Women can be so ridiculous and this group is not. The girls we are teaching sometimes are-but that is another post-girls need time/discipline to get over all the "mean girl" tendencies they get along with the hormones.

Our weather today is gorgeous and I want to be out in it but the house is so far gone, I must rescue it instead of playing in the sunshine. My kids are living it up though! Church is tonight as well so I only have so much time to squeeze things into.

Took Tobilicious Toby to co-op and he was very popular. A little too popular. He won't go again, but it was fun to have him there last hour today. He loves people...except strangers at our house, he growls like he might eat them alive. Don't know if that will get better or worse as he gets older.

***SAD NOTE****
Toby does seem to be growing into his ears. He has gained 8 pounds in a month. They may have been right about the husky thing. Husky/Rat terrier/chihauhua(sp?). That's funny.

Laundry and housework are calling me right now!! Too much to do! Back to work!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Countdown to cookies being over...

Just made a bank run. I had over three thousand dollars to deposit. I hate my job. I have been a nervous wreck for two days and I am glad to have it safely in the bank. I still have some paperwork to do, a cashier's check must be procured and sent to our service unit, we are doing a booth sale tonight at our local times. Luckily, this will all be done well before departure day.

My whole living room is a mass of clothes and so I cannot tarry on this site. I must sort through the madness and also get ready for co-op tomorrow.

To quote Veggie Tales:

"I'm busy, busy. Shockingly busy. You've no idea what I have to do. Busy, busy, dreadfully busy. Much, much too busy for you."

Kiss kiss, we'll talk later.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Get Out Of That Pit!

A review of Beth Moore's latest book. I am a little afraid to post this. The room seems to be animal free and if this post gets deleted or lost in cyberspace, I will only say warm flowery things form now on.

I was disappointed with this book. It did not possess the depth I was craving. This may be all about me and my expectations, but I actually think Beth was catering to a different crowd than us Bible Study junkies. (What an awesome drug of choice-God and His word!) I think that she wrote it to be a little bit lighter fare and still pack a whallup. The message is awesome and the prayers are already making an impact on me...I am just thankful I bought "Breaking Free" the book, at the same time because God is wanting to lift me out of the pit and put my feet on the rock that is Him.

Don't misunderstand, this is an awesome book and I can think of about 100 people that I would like to pass it along to. It is just more "milk" than "meat".

I can't wait to hear what the rest of bloggityville has to say about it.

We are recovered. At least Kayla and Lilly seem to be in good health and also good spirits. They were so pitiful yesterday. It breaks my heart to see a child of mine put a cheek on our ice cold wood floors because it feels good. There is not a sight more pitiful to behold.

Erika and I went to church and CARE group as a duo. Erik was wonderful to let me still carry on with the highlight of my week (church) while he was Mister Mom. He also did dishes and laundry. Totally awesome.

I spent about two hours catching up with an old friend last night. This was a forced reunion brought about by too many fried foods at a meal. The friend? Good old acid reflux. He comes around every so often and I awaken(at 1:30AM!) to the joy of vomiting pure acid. This happens less than once a month typically, as I am very careful what I eat for supper, but I am thinking this is probably too often and there is probably something going on all the time and once a month or so, it is just worse. It has always been my theory that this was brought on by all the diet coke I drink-but, since I have not had fizz since fat Tuesday, I am guessing it is something else.

My essay posted in our church bulletin yesterday and I received many compliments on it. I am trying not to become prideful about my writing. I love to write and I always have. I know that it is a gift, I also believe it is a gift most people possess-like art-and it just goes uncultivated. God means for us to communicate with one another. Writing reveals our inner selves and I believe that is as much a part of christianity as service. Too many people just go along in life and never let anyone else "in". They are missing a huge blessing. I hope it blessed someone to hear how God has spoken to me and changed me. I hope they will tune into God more as a result.

One of our elders went to the Middle East and he gave a presentation at church Sunday. He actually went not only to encourage the mission work our church supports, but also to hold the work to some level of accountability. He talked about being totally alone and fully relying on God to meet his needs and also to answer his questions. The entire trip was blessed by God with all details falling into place in such a marvelous way, from getting details without asking to running into a fellow "auditor" on the way home. GOD IS SO GOOD. Even better, the mission work seems to be blessed by God and not fraudulent in any way. This is always a danger in overseas mission work.

I hope God blesses Glen in such a special way for his willingness to serve in this way. I was weepy from the full disclosure of the trip and the tearful way Glen gave God the full credit and honor He deserves!! He also challenged us to be alone with God more often and not always be a part of a group. I feel the same nudgings. It is easy to serve in a group of people-but God is a God of personal relationships. He does not want us always to be yoked with a group. We should each be going out into the world. We certainly need a good group of "iron" to sharpen us, but it is hard to spark a new relationship and win someone to Christ if your always with your "homies".

Please God, let our churches be training camps to reach the lost, not country clubs for the chosen.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I miss you!

I have been just having to write blogs in my head, which is not helpful. Thoughts. must. get. out. Too many thoughts running around make me a little crazy and unable to remember important things that need to be taken care of.

Last night I was awakened at 3:30 by Lilly. "Mom, can you come here?"

"No Darling, it is the middle of the night still."

"I threw up."

"Be right there, please make it to the bathroom."

Of course, last night I stayed up late going through summer clothes trying to see if we actually have summer clothes that can still be worn by everyone. (We do, bless-ed hand-me-downs). I had no idea anyone would wake up in the middle of the night sick. I am really tired and the bug has moved onto child number two. I did not allow child number two to go to church because her tummy was a little upset. I promised if she was not sick after church, she could do the booth sale. When I got home from church, she felt great. Ten minutes into COOKIE BOOTH SALE, she promptly "tossed her cookies" into the nearby trashcan. She was a trooper sitting there in the freezing wind and deceptively unwarm bright sunshine for almost an hour. Erik could not come and get her because Lilly felt so bad and was still throwing up. God sent my nephew by, I don't think Kayla had another ten minutes in her. Her teeth were chattering. It is hard to have a virus in the freezing cold. He ran her home. She is forever grateful.

I am very thankful that we have plenty of time for this to work through the family before vacation. Lilly was in tears thinking this sickness would cancel vacation. IT WOULD NOT. We might not visit anyone, but we would still totally go and infect strangers. Vacation comes but once a year. I trust other people are out there doing the same or these things would not travel around to begin with!

I wrote a whole post last night reviewing the new Beth Moore book early and my cat jumped down on the power switch and I lost the post. That has NEVER happened before(the cat thing-I've lost many a long-winded post!). I don't think I am going to review it after all, since I think she truly does have much "pull" with God. Maybe I should re-read it and then review it again, much more favorably. ( ;

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Glimpse into my afraid.

Written for our church bulletin. Thought you might enjoy a little glimpse into the re-making of Janice by God.

I am not a singer. Once upon a time though, like all children, I was. Oh how I sang. I was singing my little heart out in the bathroom of my small childhood church all through the sermon. Every song I knew...and I knew alot. Finally my mom's friend, Davida came knocking on the door. "I'm in here.", I said.

"I know, sweetie, we can all hear you."

Man, it was hard to walk out of that bathroom and go to my seat.

People were always sweet to me, they enjoyed my childish enthusiasm. However, when I went to sing in the choir, the lines were drawn. Someone, in a moment of truth, told me I did not sing well and should not be in the choir. Actually, to say my heart was broken is quite an understatement. I never sang quite the same again. I could not have been more than 10 or eleven and the person who told me was my pastor's wife who sat just a little below Jesus in my mind, still does, one comment can't change a lifetime of goodness! I'm sure she is in Heaven and I can't wait to see her again!

However, from that day forward I only mouthed singing and it never brought me the joy it had before-publicly. Privately, however, I was still singing to God with all my heart. My joyful noises were limited to God's ears only. In high school, I had a very close friend who sang very well and was very quick to point out that I did not. We still sang our hearts out to and from school. She was content for me to sing as long as I knew I didn't do it well. Through my life there have been many well-meaning people to point that out.

At the ripe old age of 34, God sent me another message entirely:

Psalm 107:32

Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.

You see, I was sent a word from God. I am COMMANDED to worship him. IN THE ASSEMBLY. Even if someone tells me I don't sing pretty. Because it is not about me. It is all about God. So you won't hear me singing my heart out, but you will see me singing praises to my God and Saviour. You can even hear me if you lean in, but I don't recommend it.

We are blessed with a praise team of wonderful singers to help us hear "our part". While I don't know my part, I just pick someone out and sing with them. We are also blessed with an even greater number of wonderful singers who are not in the praise team. Sit by them, follow their lead. IT IS NOT ABOUT US. There is a wave of worship going up to God that starts before it is even SUNDAY here in Reidland. Be a part of that wave of worship that tells God he is IT in our book. He created and commanded you to do it and if you don't take my word for it-just look up praise in the Bible and see it for yourself.
I've fallen and I can't get up!

It has been a tough week. I have not technically fallen, but theoretically, I will spend the next two days trying to "get up". My massive paper clutter problem is going down...this week. Starting today. Actually started already but I haven't made enough of a dent to count it.

***Update, I ended up taking the family we did supper for Subway sandwiches, chips, cookies and some juice. I was still in town at 4 o'clock and decided to take the easy path. It worked out well. Since I was not frazzled, we were able to be a blessing in other ways and help her with some things here and there as well as bringing supper.

***Because of blessing that family in other ways, we missed Lilly's ball practice and then when I saw all the school work the big girls had left to finish for co-op, I did not allow them to go to practice either. This is right on the heels of me posting a commitment blurb on our church forum about how we always follow through on our commitments. I should amend that to say, "WE TRY TO ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH ON OUR COMMITMENTS!" School work just has to come first sometimes. Being there for Jolene was also important. I don't feel guilty. It isn't as though I couldn't peel my butt off the couch to be bothered with practice.

We leave for Texas real soon and I am so excited. I have such wonderful friends in Texas and I will be so blessed to spend time with them!! We have several stops to make and it is going to be hard to squeeze them all in, but I have the tenacity of a bug on windshield and the resolve of a dung bettle in an elephant pile-we will visit them all.

We have started planning exactly when we will be where and I am also beginning to think about possible dog-sitters for Toby or which kennel to board him at. I hate to kennel him because Thunder was so miserable at the kennel. A nice family here would be best to keep him for us-but that would be a big task for most people I know. Erik's parents will be able to come and feed the cats every couple of days and keep an eye on the house-but that won't work for Tobermeister. I am sure there is a great kennel out there. I will be much more choosy than I was for Thunder. I though a kennel was a kennel was a kennel. Now I know better.

Many things to do today and not much sleep to go on (It was wonderful chatting with you though-Steph!) I will sacrifice a little sleep here and there for conversation.

Pray for me, it is sooooooo easy for me to get sidetracked and lose focus. Clutter, here I come!