Wednesday, April 30, 2008
It is well known by friends and family that I do not enjoy the subject of history. In fact, I concur 100% with Henry Ford who was quoted as saying, "History is bunk." Yeah, me too. Especially world civ!!!! HOWEVER-I can say this. I have studied it. I have a good grasp of timelines, cause and effect relationships between countries, who was in the world wars and even a decent recollection of the order of the presidents. I didn't love learning it, but I do realize we all have to know some basic history.
Why? Because there are idiots out there like Reverend(I use that term very loosely in this case because I don't believe he is exactly preaching God's word) Wright (or wrong, more appropriately named) saying that we terrorized Japan by bombing them. We just decided we were bigger than them and bombed them to build ourselves into a bigger nation. Bless his poor stooooopid heart, he doesn't even know about Pearl Harbor. And it was even a big box office movie.
History is very important as some of these lunatics think they can just rewrite it to make us sound worse than we really were. So yes, here I am, defending the accurate teaching of history. It is VITAL!!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I read books, in cycles, all of the time. However, I can't tell you what I have read and often can't remember much about the book either. I don't like this. I want to remember. I want to see just how much I read in a year. I need feedback from all of you organized people. You need only be organized in the book log area to participate.
This dissatisfaction is directly the fault of Sandy and Jason. They both have posted gorgeous and thorough posts about books they have read and a snippet about the books along with a rating!!! This gave me the bright idea that I should also keep track of what I am reading.
So, I have created a spiral notebook book log which I can take with me to the library so I can check out books people have recommended to me and I also made a few pages for the movies people tell me are GREAT. This way I might actually have the information when I need it. I figure I can also write a word or two about what the book is about and rate it.
Tell me internetties...what is your system?? How do you keep track? Also I would love it if you could take time out at this gorgeous time of year and recommend me some summer reading and also some really great movies in my comments. I am begging. Please!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I will start this post out by saying we have the friendliest church in America. At least in my American church experience. (Which although regional, is quite extensive.) Yesterday, I had the privilege of sitting in front of a couple visiting our church from St. Charles, Missouri. I know this because I sat down in front of them and introduced myself to them with a handshake, asked them where they were from. That led to me asking if they were visiting family. No, they were in town for a ginormous conference our town hosts once a year. I then introduced them to my children one by one, made a little small talk and then turned around and took my seat.
Then I smiled to myself as no fewer than ten other people came along and went through the same litany of friendliness. I hope they felt loved and not annoyed. After the service I shook their hands again and thanked them for being so gracious as we "got to know them". Then ten more people came along to shake their hands and "visit".
It is a good thing. I've never had it happen to me anywhere but my mom's church. It also did not happen to me when I first started at this church 13-14 years ago-but then, in all fairness, it isn't at all the same church it was in those days.
Can churches be too friendly? What do you think? Post anonymously if you prefer, I have no way to trace you!!
This week is full of promise. We have lots of good things happening, and also some not as good things...
- We finish co-op on Wednesday. AND, have our grand finale get-together. It has been a great year. I have enjoyed teaching my boys this year. Their behavior was amazing at the beginning of the year. Then, either something about me changed or we all got much more comfortable- we slid into some much more typical behavior. This is not to say they were ever poorly behaved-they were certainly always well behaved. There just have been alot more trips to the bathroom, desperate cries for water fountain visits and late homework. Oh well, we are all caught up now and this week will be the END! I will miss it and so will my girls and if it proves that we must go back...I don't think we burned any bridges.
- My mother and I simply don't get along well. I love her and I have no doubt that she loves me too-but we just can't spend large hunks of time together. And I have been guilted into large hunks of time. No more. Small hunks it is from now on. She basically takes an opposing viewpoint to ANYTHING I say. I want to be there for my mom, but someone so determined to battle with me doesn't get the privilege of monopolizing my time.
- The diet/lifestyle forever plan is going very well. The hardest times are things like yesterday when I had no time for breakfast, an outing at church with PIZZA that I was only able to eat the toppings off of(toppings off of two pieces of pizza is not filling at all) and then having to wait even longer to have supper. Meals can't be too close together. However, it is working and I am training my mind and body that this is forever. Most days it isn't hard at all-but some days I just cannot plan for and that is frustrating! My scales showed a total loss of 10 pounds now and that is enough to keep me encouraged for a long time. Ten more pounds and people will probably start noticing. (I love/hate that part.)
- I picked out several books at the library and I am enjoying getting back to some reading. Please recommend any "must reads" (Except you Jason-I have printed out your list and it should hold me over for the summer!!) in the comments!! By must read, I mean you would give it 4 or 5 stars. I don't like smut or horror, so take that into account as well. I used to love Stephen King and I have read every old book he ever wrote-but something changed in me when I had children, I've never looked back and sold my EXTENSIVE SKing library.
- I can't wait for an unstructured summer!!
- We have kittens that are 1 week old now, eyes are mostly open. I love kittens. We are not keeping any so keep us in mind if you need one. We will find them homes and then, I WILL get Gray Gray fixed even if it makes hubby mad. Hopefully it won't but I am done with little cute balls of fur we can't keep because we already have two cats.
- Have a wonderful Monday and count your blessings that you are not taking an elderly parent to the doctor in a neighboring town for a toe nail trim this afternoon. If that doesn't make you feel lucky in life-nothing will.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The sermon today was about getting along with people. Being more loving. Putting other's needs ahead of your own. Basically, the whole concept of Christ and therefore Christianity. This is such a struggle for me. A constant struggle. How pathetic. I struggle most with the very basic tenet of Christianity. The battle is raging just as fiercely within as without.
One of my good friends leaned over as we were both having a difficult time today and said, "The sermon was tailor made for me today." "Oh really, you too?" Now I fully realize everyone struggles with this. Even people who don't appear to.
Today has been much worse than usual in the "trying" department. There have been so many people, circumstances, and issues that have made me want to be anything but loving. In fact, I am quite certain Christ isn't showing in me at all today. I much prefer the sermons that I hear and think of someone else...you know, so and so really needs to hear that.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
This one is easy. My dad's father was the best grandfather ever. We called him Pa. Just hearing the word Pa conjures up memories of him and the way he smelled. He smoked a pipe and so he always smelled like pipe tobacco which is a wondeful smell. This was probably a good thing to, because he believed in the philosphy that "what keeps cold out keeps heat out" and so he always wore long pants, long sleeves and suspenders. In summer, I'm sure that pipe tobacco smell was a blessing. He was a very patient man of very few words. He would allow me to walk his property with him and I would imagine that my 6-7 year old self did not stop talking the whole time. He just listened, answered my questions and taught me to appreciate nature. He told me what trees were what, whose farm adjoined his, all about crops. We never saw alot of wildlife (chatter makes them scatter, you know) but if we had, he would have taught me about that too. He showed me the proper way to hoe a garden and wasn't at all annoyed when I only lasted 5 minutes. He showed me how to dig up potatoes and gather eggs. He let us ride his mule. He helped my sister hold the chicken snake he kept in the corn crib. He always reminded me to watch out for chicken poo because I hardly ever wore shoes. He never minded if I picked Ma's flowers. He planted a HUGE garden every year, along with a potato patch and a strawberry patch. AND it was just him and Ma. He was providing food for his ex-daughter-in-law and her children in a way that helped my mom maintain her dignity. I've never had a sweeter strawberry!! (No wonder my mom was able to so lovingly serve him and attend to his needs when he became old and infirm. He had Alzheimer's when it was simply called "hardening of the arteries.")
He had a car, a rambler. It was purple-ish, dusty, dirty and it had a certain smell too. Dirt dobbers nests, farm and fuel. If you aren't from the country, I can't describe it to you-but if you have ever been in an old outbuilding full of dirt dobbers nests-you will know what I am talking about. He never drove anywhere much, so the car did not get used alot. When he did go, he was NEVER in a HURRY. Sometimes our school bus would get behind him and it would make me fume the remarks people would make about my Pa. AND it would embarrass me for him because he was just trying to be safe and keep his car driving well. One morning we all missed the bus and ran to Pa's and he took us to school. It took almost as long as walking would have been, plus we were terribly embarrassed. I'm not sure why we went there in the first place, but we never missed the bus again.
Men like my grandfather are few and far between. He is my ideal man. Strong, silent, patient, happy, loving, nature-loving, smart-he knew everything and an excellent planner. I'm sure knowing him as an older man sort of is unfair-usually by the time we reach a certain age, we have our kinks worked out-but I never saw anything unlovable about Pa. I am very blessed to have been able to spend such huge chunks of time with him.
By 7:15 today, all of our beds will be made, teeth brushed, all will be dressed and out the door. This has to be against the law. Saturdays are created for rest, right?? Or enjoying your family time?
IT should ultimately end up being a nice day of service to a couple in our church. My kids aren't really getting up much earlier-although their mom is-it's just that we don't actually get dressed and GO anywhere. We consider it prep for yard sale days!!
I hope you sleep in and enjoy the slower pace of your Saturday!! We will enjoy our fast-paced one with good friends!!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The way that I should. Today is much better. There is a new pipe leading from our kitchen sink to the main drainpipe that goes to our septic tank. It cost us $13 and some change. Oh and lots of manual labor digging a trench on the part of hubby. I did help a little, but not much. It is hard to go a couple of days with kitchen sink woes, but I am thankful my husband made it a priority and got it done speedily. Plumbing work is really gross and disgusting, not at all a FUN do it yourself thing-but in our experience, at least so far, relatively easy. If we were richer, we would totally hire it out. We have not been intimidated by any repair since we moved into this house. We feel like we own every single square inch of it since we have done so many projects ourselves. Except electricity. Well, most electricity-we have dabbled in some small stuff. The price you pay for hired help is just not worth it-at least in my humble, tightwad world.
Today is the second to last co-op meeting. I can feel the tension escaping from my body. Next week is all finals and I am so happy, so very happy. Of course that won't finish school-we will still have another month but that will be my month, my school stuff so it will feel totally different. (If we do it...haha, I'm totally hoping that I am kidding!) (Remember co-op held me accountable!!)
IT is also church night and we may or may not be able to attend because we have a little ditch to fill in. (The silicone seal had to be left out overnight to dry.) I plan on early bedtime tonight. My butt is totally draggin'.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Or not. I keep trying to determine if I am stressed out or just a little overscheduled. The results seem to be the same either way. Many things are going on today that are pushing my buttons.
- I am giving up talk radio for a while. Except the ONE, you know, Bill O'Reilly. He doesn't hype it up and get all doom and gloom like some of the others are doing. I think they just mean to inform but it comes across as hype-rhymes with tripe.
- Of course, the sink thing was not an easy fix. Our plumbing woes have been constant since we moved nto our 50+ year old bungalow. There are issues to numerous and costly to tackle them all at once so we fix them as they come along. Now one has come along that will cost us big in the manual labor department. We have to dig down to a old pipe and then replace it with PVC. I am so excited. The grunge work starts this afternoon. Come over if your bored. A kitchen pipe that was clogged and blocked with food and grease, then collapsed because it was made of a more "earth friendly" materials than PVC. Cause there was no PVC when this house was built. You can imagine what fun this will be. I will not be posting any pictures.
- Groceries and gas are getting so expensive I could scream. I keep thinking this is a temporary thing but it does not appear to be the case. Driving back and forth to my mom's every day is really making our gas bill go through the roof. I will be so thankful to be able to at least begin growing some of our own veggies soon. Feeding a family of five just keeps getting more expensive and I am a cheap "from scratch" girl as it is!
- I hate doing school this time of year. It is so nice outside and I just want it to be done. Of course, it isn't and so that can't be-but a girl can wish, right? I am glad I'm not a public school teacher with 25+ kids that have spring fever. 3(4 counting me) is bad enough!
- Ebay is still shrinking my book/curriculum collection and I am very happy about that. Most of my proceeds are helping with all the extra gas we are burning and while I am not happy about that-I suppose I am thankful for the option.
- My "diet" which really isn't-it is a whole new lifestyle not a diet-is going well. (I will never be able to go off of it because I am a carb addict.) I am still losing weight very slowly but the book warns that plateaus happen and that is just a sign that you are losing weight in a healthy, permanent way. The body constantly has to readjust itself when weight loss happens in a SLOW healthy way. Plateaus are a part of that. I feel better than I ever have and it is noce to not always be craving carbs. Psychologically though, I still want to eat carbs. I still think about them alot. Yesterday I made a carb-free soup to get me through several meals. As I ate it, all I could think about was how good it would be with some rice. I suppose I will need to eat some rice in a reward meal soon because I am really craving it lately. I am eating plenty of sweets at the reward meals so I am not craving those so much. Losing weight is the toughest battle ever. So many factors are working against me-namely 36 years of bad eating habits!! This time though, I am determined to be successful and begging God to bless my efforts.
So for now, my head seems to be explosion proofed. Just for today though. Just for today.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I feel tired and BLAH today. Yesterday was entirely overscheduled but fun. I love my church friends so much. I have so many. None of them are my BEST friends but I have so many that are good friends it almost makes up for it.
Major Digression: (This is a total lie, I long for a BEST friend with every fiber of my being-I just know it can't be. Not having/being a best friend is something I have struggled with since my last BEST friend and I parted ways. No-fight, just different life paths. I have had many best friends through the years. All with that BEST FRIEND COMMON DENOMINATOR-spending every available moment together. Is this possible for me anymore? NO. Does that break my heart a little bit? Yes and no. I know I have too many other responsibilities that tug at me to ever have a BEST friend again. Plus my hubby really fills that role now-but you know, he's a guy and it really isn't the same.)
So anyway, yesterday at church, I realized what a blessing it is to be a part of such a loving church. I've moaned and groaned about this church so many times. They are so much like family it blows my mind. Part of that means that things-certain issues-get on my nerves so bad I could just scream and then at the very same time, I love everybody so much it makes my heart hurt a little.
Yesterday, I barely skated into church at the very last moment. I faced some very heavy teasing about it, visited in the foyer a bit and then got my kiddos and hurried to Walmart and then back to my home-the destination of our care group. I had every intention of being at church-but things kept happening beyond my control. The house was mostly clean because Friday, I did heavy duty cleaning and we have managed to maintain that. The snag was that I had to bake something for a church mission bake sale. I could not muster up the energy to do this Sat. night, so I just planned on getting up early Sunday-which I did. The recipe did not go as planned. Snag #1. Snag #2-Erik did not take the kids with him to church. He always does. This means I had to run them to Sunday school which was not part of my morning plan. 20 minutes of crititcal preparing time-POOF-gone. I stop by the store to get plastic wrap and hurriedly make it back home. The chili is happily simmering along, the dessert is now ready, the potatoes are ready for baking, the house is ready to vacuum, All is well. Then I notice SNAG #3-the mother of all snags. Both of my sinks are clogged and backed up. One of them had been full of dishwater and I let it out. Much to my dismay it had merely emptied halfway into the other sink and both were full of sudsy dirty water. I go ahead and vacuum and then deal with hauling water outside to empty my sinks. Most all of it anyway. I put the potatoes in, hurriedly do my hair and make-up and head to church at 10:50. Church starts at 10.
It all turned out OK and we make it back home before anyone and find the last little bit of water left in the sink drained on out. We also noticed our big-as-a-house pregnant cat was in her labor box. Please God, I've been trying so hard to be a good girl. Please please do not have our cat have kittens during care group. Please. (Thank you God for your mercy on me!)
Care group was great, discussion was good and we ended early due to a bridal shower and Gray Gray had her 1st of 5 babies about 20 minutes after the last people left.
And I wonder why we don't have people over more often. HA!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Ami asks what I would like to say goodbye to forever.
- I suppose the most obvious answer is about 70 pounds of extra weight I am carrying around. Even 30-50 would be good. I am steadily trying to get that accomplished. I wish it could happen with just a wish-but I am now down 7 pounds. Two pounds or so a week will just have to do for now. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
- The next thing I would like to say goodbye to forever is guilt. It has always been such a motivator for me. I am always so busy worrying about what I "should" be doing that I often lose the enjoyment of what I "am" doing. I want to do things right and well. I want to be able to forgive myself if I don't.
- Comparison. There are days when it robs my joy and that is just wrong. I am taking baby steps to free myself of it-but it still remains partially intact.
- Clutter. Again, I am taking the steps to be rid of it. I am also enjoying the spaces created from that which I have already parted with. It would just be nice to be finished already.
- Disorganized time. I would love to have my days mapped out in an effective but flexible way. The thing that does me in some days is not lack of time-but too much time to procrastinate things. Procrastination is a life stealer.
- Sibling rivalry/bickering. Not pretty or tolerable. It does not matter if the children are young or old it is very unpleasant.
- Diseases. Especially diabetes, alzheimers and cancer-but not limited to those!! Can't see any good that comes from them. We should all just be healthy until we die from old age.
The process of changing the faults that we have is what makes us better people. It truly is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. So, some of these are real things I can say goodbye to, others I can't. Some of them I am working to say goodbye to, others I have no control over what-so-ever.
Reminds me of a certain prayer:
Grant me the Wisdom to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can and
Wisdom to know the difference.
Date night was splendiforous. I was assured we were dealing with cooked sushi-but I could not trust it since I was dealing with sushi lovers who could be trying to trick me into loving it with them. It was gorgeous and the presentation/eating style was very hard to resist. I love flames and chopsticks. I did try two "beef sushis", they were yummy. I also tried some sauce that had my mouth on fire and Japanese beer that was good too. Erik loved all of it. He ate sushi like a seasoned sushi pro. I enjoyed chicken teriyaki with white rice, soup and salad. I also had some green tea ice cream which was very yummy. I doubt I will ever have it again but it made me look a bit more open-minded to try something exotic (and not RAW).
After sushi, we went to hear a band that Erik subs for sometimes. They were really good. We listened to the first set and drank coffee and diet coke. I totally embarrased myself by knocking over Erik's cup of coffee. Good thing I was only drinking diet coke. It had been a long time since I had listened to these guys play. One of the band members has had some really scary health issues so it was good to see him doing well. I do not enjoy going to bars and listening to bands-but I know my husband does so I make the best of it. People in bars just annoy me. I don't have any desire to go there, but where else can you go to hear good music on date night?
Today, I went to my moms, helped her get a shower, changed her dressing and then had the unique privilege of taking her tooooooo...............my least favorite place in the world..............especially on Saturday..............Super Walmart. Yaaaahoooooo! It was as much fun as I knew it would be. But it only took about 2 hours total so it could have been worse.
Then we spent the rest of the day arguing because my stepfather's children have chosen to feud with him. My mom is taking sides and being angry and I have argued with her that her job is to encourage him to make peace with his children. I am not even sure he can-but at 84 years old, I am sure he should be trying. It just blows my mind that children will be mad over things that happened so many years ago-or yesterday. When Daddy is old and infirm is NOT the time to iron out those differences, or worse, tell Daddy off and have nothing to do with him. Most people just don't change when they are old. Some do, but most just become more stubborn and set in their ways. I feel really bad for any grown person who cannot forgive and forget the failings of their parents when the parents are old and need care. They will live with shame and regret when he passes on. Love is a choice. No matter who you are and what your circumstances, there will come a time that you have to decide to love someone even if they don't necessarily "deserve" it. Because really, none of us are very deserving. I just don't believe kicking someone when they are down is ever the right thing to do-especially if it is over unmet expectations and hurt feelings. The high road is never the wrong decision or the easy one.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Eat at Your Own Risk
The danger: The primary cause for concern with sushi is the presence of parasites—tapeworms, flatworms and roundworms, for example—in the fish. (YUMMY!) Eating sushi and sashimi at restaurants where the chefs not only know how to purchase the best fish, but also know how to identify and remove parasites during preparation, can help minimize the risk, but no raw fish can be guaranteed safe. And dipping it in soy sauce and wasabi may have a mildly antimicrobial effect, but it’s not likely to ensure a completely safe sushi meal.
The safer solution: Cooking fish to at least 145 degrees for a minute or more will kill any parasites residing in the fish. But then you no longer have sushi! The only way to eat it raw and still be sure it’s not harboring any parasites is to eat fish that has been frozen before it became sushi. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends freezing fish to an internal temperate of -31 degrees for at least 15 hours in order to kill parasites.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"Good morning Captain, won't you come on out and play. Wake up the sunshine and share this brand new day"...Captain Kangaroo was definitely part of my younger Janice routines every morning. Also the reason we all avoided green jeans, no one wanted to be called Mr. Green Jeans!! This song was running through my head this morning, so I strolled down memory lane-AKA, youtube-and discovered exactly the right song.
People younger than me...you will probably never have even heard of Captain Kangaroo-I am so sorry. Think Mister Rogers, only cooler with fewer wardrobe changes. (I loved Mister Rogers too, but you could not admit to watching that show at school.)
Have a wonderful day and enjoy the sunshine.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I have a new love in my life. Don't move too far though vinegar-I still love you and your sidekick, baking soda. My new love is ebay. Ebay, you make me swoon. Ebay, you make me money to buy curriculum. Ebay, you are helping me thin out my crazy ridiculous obsessive curriculum collection.
Even as I sort through things no longer use, I'm still thinking-what a great curriculum, I should totally do this. Now I have to follow that with-Yes, Janice, it is good curriculum-but will you actually USE it? Then I tell myself, no I will not because we have next year stuffed to the gills with activities we are going to do and there is no room. Then I post it on the auction block and Erik and I get all giddy when people buy it. Sometimes we make money and then we are really giddy. Silly giddy. Giddy-up!! (We still love you Kramer, we know it was the crack talking when you got all crazy!)
I am trying to post about 4 things a day and I love the results. I highly recommend it. Ebay is the new black.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tonight I experienced two someones showing me, all of us-Mom, Pete, Erik & all three of my girls-the love of Christ. We were helping Mom host her pastor and his wife for a thank you dinner. They have done so very much for my mom!! We have joked that Brother Dobbs is like our other dad because Mom did not have single surgery that he wasn't there with us, praying and waiting. As soon as we got the all clear, he would be on his way. He was just like another one of the family. It was very touching.
So the meal was on and they arrived to us putting the finishing touches on supper and then we enjoyed a very nice meal together. I was working on getting things all cleaned up when I noticed they were in the other room playing UNO with my kids. Just them and the girls playing UNO. They were loving on my kids and treating them like family and my heart melted. Then I joined them for a round of Apples to Apples. They were so loving and we laughed so much. They loved all of us with the love of Christ despite the fact that we were very loud and Lilly was very very excited and often very clingy/being Lilly. My girls will forever remember them fondly for how loving and accepting they were to them. Unfortunately, these days most grown-ups really don't have time or the desire to engage children. (Often, I am in this group as well, I am ashamed to admit that!) Some people we know sit back and tsk tsk and tell stories of how wonderful and quiet their own children were at that age and judge my parenting-at least that is what it feels like. They sort of demand that the children be sent off to play...SOMEWHERE ELSE. It was refreshing to all hang out and laugh together. It was refreshing to be accepted-flaws and all(We got lots of them!)-and not feel judged. Then I walked them to their vehicle when it was time to go and he opened the door for his wife. Wow. I didn't know anyone still did that. It was such an easy habit that she waited for it.
Now, I must point out that we definitely have people in our church who treat us and our children this very same way. They bless my very soul and my children love to spend time with them. However, it is a small number of people. Of course, there could be tons of people in our church who would be just like that and we are just so anti-social these days we have missed them. We are not invited to alot of things and we don't invite alot of people over much either.
Maybe that is what is wrong with kids today-not enough grown-ups are interacting with them, being patient with them. I always say the trouble with kids is that they turn into grown-ups and remember how they were treated. Often this makes them want to be far far away from church buildings (and their parents for that matter!). Jesus always made special efforts to be with children and people who did not fit the mold. I need to work on being more like that. He did not condemn, but he inspired people everywhere he came across them. I need to be more like that too!
It was a wonderful night and despite spending a hundred hours on my feet to make it all happen, I really enjoyed myself. My mom almost smiled and looked pleasant a few times too. ( ;
Sunday, April 13, 2008
(Sure to make me lose my mind!)
I spent my blog time reading and not writing. Most of what is milling about in my brain would cause a ruckus if I put it to "paper" anyway. My time lately is either spent doing 1200 things in a day OR wandering aimlessly and accomplishing nothing-shellshocked and dazed. Today, I read a book, took a nap and then read blogs after the church festivities. Sure, nothing was accomplished but it was nice minus the kid bickering which eventually halted. (We were all a bit edgy after the weather forced our church to move the picnic outing we were supposed to have to the indoors! We had freezing rain today-UGH!)
Tomorrow, I am helping my mother host her preacher for supper so I will be gone most of the day. He is a really nice man and his wife has sent my mom no fewer than 20 cards. They have been a real blessing to her (and us).
Looks like another week full 'o fun as I spy the week's activities. Yahoo, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. It will be fun, for the most part, I just get a little overwhelmed thinking about all that is crammed into my weeks lately. I'm spoiled to the slow lane, what can I say?
PS-I have lost five pounds!!!! I can tell it too, my bra is getting looser!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I not only did not get things done today, but I also did not have a "fun and enjoyable" day with the kiddos either. I did get a few things done for mom and make it to a birthday party, so I guess that is something, right?
Off to do some very light housecleaning so at least I wake up to a semi-clean house tomorrow.
I hate days that are spastic and non-productive.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The weather lately has been absolutely spectacular and we have been loving every minute of it. In between errands and odd jobs here and there. My kids have been earning money doing things nearly every where they go-mostly picking up sticks. Grandparents love to give their grandkids money. Especially after watching their grandkids run around and work hard. Things have come a long way since I got a quarter from my Grandma for getting her mail, sweeping and washing up her dishes.
Tomorrow I am hoping to spy a few yard sales on the way out to my mom's. That will be just the thing to make my little wage earners very happy. One more day of beautiful weather before the snow flies-or at least is predicted to fly. We plan on "seizing the day"!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I met a man. Not just any man, but a man who melted my feminist heart with a smile(Those dimples still make me swoon!). A man who made me want to marry him, cook for him and have his babies. A man with a HARLEY.
So all of my lofty aspirations for making loads of money fell by the wayside as I planned a life with the man I would marry. I was more than happy to "quit school". It was a good thing too, someone kept me so distracted I could not even think straight. We met in August, got engaged on Christmas Eve, and married in May. As we planned our future together, we agreed that I should be a stay-at-home mom when we had children. In fact, not long after we were married, I quit my job to "practice" being a stay-at-home mom. My house has never been cleaner and supper was never more prompt. However, I hated it. I decided to go back to work at a floor covering store so we could get new floors at cost. It was fun and I planned to stay on there for a while when I became "in a family way".
After the birth of Erika, I never even gave another thought to finishing school or having any type of career. I was the happiest I had ever been. Becoming a mom fulfilled me in a way I had only dreamed of. Erik and I were so bonded and just crazy about our little family. Then 3 short months later we found out our family would be adding one more. This began our tumultuous years-we survived them by the skin of our teeth and emerged even more in love and committed to our little family. A few years later, in an attempt to downsize our lifestyle(and more importantly, our debt) we moved to a smaller house in the country(sort of), the house we live in now. We were so content and snug in our new home. So content, in fact, we immediately became preggers again. And then there were three. And then there was a tubal ligation. And once that decision was made and the steps of permanent birth control taken, our love life became so extraordinarily marvelous...TMI, TMI.
When Lilly was 2 years old, I became a Pampered Chef consultant. That sort of awakened an urge in me that had been dormant. The urge to do something with my brain to make money. It was a fun 4 years. Then the busyness of life won out over the urge to have a career. So where does that leave me today? It would be nice to do something to contribute to our family income, but my hubby is a good provider and it really isn't necessary. It would cover some extras-but it also would probably just make us want even more. So I am, just a mom. And, for the most part, loving every minute of it. I still like to think about what I will be "when I grow up" but I really like being a kid again through mine. I am content. Law school will still be there when my kids are grown.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Okay, lately it seems all of my inspiration comes from AMI. We do have a fair amount in common. She posted on the fact that her daughter thinks she "gave it all up" to be a stay-at-home mom. Of course, that is a paraphrase, but you get the idea. So this has me thinking too. My daughters will be the age of hers soon and I would not be surprised if they say/believe something similar.
I was a good student all through school. I'm not bragging here-OKAY, yes I am(Don't you hate when people say, "I'm not bragging...and it is very clear that they are?)-but I made good grades, my teachers liked me, I worked about 24 hours a week at a part-time job, belonged to almost every club in the school-officer in 2 of them, was active in my church youth group and had alot of friends. I was SUCCESSFUL at school. I loved it. I LOVED it. I lived and breathed to do academics and anything relating to them. I wrote for the school paper before I even took the class. And then, after being pumped up for 12 years(no mandatory kindergarten in my day) about how awesome I was, how I was going places, winning scholarships, it happened. I graduated.
I was as lost as an easter egg. I did not come from a wealthy or really even middle class home(not poor enough for financial aid though!). I planned to go to a four year college and I even registered at one with a partial scholarship. The reality though was that I was community college bound. That was OK, it was probably for the best. You see, my ego had been pumped up to about 50 times what it should have been. I looked around at all the normal working folk and felt much pity for them. Saddled to a po-dunk town and a family. This was absolutely not the plan for one so smart as I. I had big plans. I did not have any clue what I would be when I grew up, but I would be making lots and lots of money.
So, I did a little research, found out nurses make good money but nurse anesthetists make even better money and I followed a nursing path that eventually would lead to almost 6 figures. I moved out into an apartment and got myself qualified for financial aid and went to school to be a nurse. For 2 years. I studied something I hated, cared for old people in nursing homes, women getting ready to have babies, women who had already had babies, cared for very young children who howled and cried when I came into their rooms and I WAS MISERABLE. And EMBARRASSED. You see, I had so sold myself(and family and friends) on this NURSE thing, that I wasn't sure how to go about fixing it. The day I inserted a catheter into a hysterectomy patient, I KNEW. IT was over. I no more wanted to be a nurse than the man in the moon.(Ironically, my nursing instructor gave me a long lecture in the hall about how she was finally seeing real potential in me as a nurse. HA!) I was chasing a paycheck and nursing is a little bit more of a calling-especially when you are 20. So I did what any sensible 20 year old does in a crisis. I slacked off on studying, partied alot, got a bad-for-me boyfriend and allowed my grades to slip down to just below what you had to have to stay in the program. So, no one could say I quit. That was very important to me-that I didn't quit.
With nursing behind me, I begin to lay out a new path. I moved back home, got a "real" job with benefits and a future, took a personality test to see what I should pursue in college and settled on communications. I loved my new course work. I started writing for the college paper. I was a DJ for one hour three times a week for the college radio (ALL Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix because I was cool!!) and took a class of college drama because I wanted to. I totally ACED a public speaking course and was best friends with my writing teacher. It was great. I was stoked at the possibility of this leading to a career somewhere down the road. I even took some summer classes and had my fall classes selected when my life took a totally unexpected turn that I could not have anticipated...
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
When I started this blog ride, it was because of my friend Summer. She had moved and started the blog to help friends and family still share in her life. I started for alot of the same reason-but then it grew from there in my expectations. So many people that I knew that lived right here also read and I felt like my blog helped me be understood a little better.
Blogging has helped me keep in touch with friends and also deepen many friendships plus so much more. I don't think I fully comprehended how critical writing was to me until blogging. I need so many more words than talking allows sometimes. Other times I need to process things-vent-through writing. Unfortunately those are some of the posts that others often don't process well-but I am beginning to learn "written diplomacy". I also never realized the way to truly be in touch with myself would be to keep a journal. Priceless!!
What I never expected though is that I would be a part of a community of blogger "strangers" who "know" me and "get" me better than some of my real life friends. It is really fun and interesting. AND, oddly enough, I often think of my blogger friends as real friends-because you are. I appreciate the stories you have shared. I pray for you when I know you are struggling with tough stuff. You are like a great big extended family and I love it. Thanks for reading. Those of you who also blog, thanks for putting your hearts out there hoping your posts might make a difference to someone else and clicking publish.
Also, it wouldn't hurt to leave a comment because comments make my heart go all a-flutter.
I did not like Sunday's post, not one little bit.**(I DID ENJOY THE DAY THOUGH!! IT WAS AWESOME EVEN IF IT WAS A LITTLE OVERSCHEDULED!!)** Too much stuff all crammed into one day. The reasonable side of my personality suggested spreading those things out over several days so you can enjoy life without feeling like you are on the Jetson's treadmill. The reasonable side of me that likes to alternate busy days with extremely relaxed days of catching up on things at home. The reasonable me that tries to do all running on certain days to keep other days calmer.
That side of me, the reasonable side of me has been replaced. Not by choice. In her place is, "Yes, I suppose we can somehow find an extra 2 hours in one of our days somewhere to____." The blank is different every day. It is also usually loads of fun. (not really) OK, Sometimes.
Last night the blank was a homeschool support meeting. I'm really glad I have wonderful supportive friends. I'm really glad I filled in the blank with some "me-time". Then I ruined the night by going grocery shopping afterward. What a me-time killer!! It had to be done though. An important part of "the diet which shall not be mentioned" is having enough salad or no carb veggies (green beans) to have at each non-reward meal. Plus Kroger had cereal for $1 a box and also goldfish for $1 a bag. Guess who is living on carbs while I abstain?? Heh. The kids are loving this diet.
Today is a somewhat relaxed day. Except tomorrow is co-op which means alot of prep work for me and also the weekly nagging of the children. Woohoo!! I have my fingers crossed they have been keeping up with their work. De-NILE ain't just a river in Egyt, you know!!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
- Got up, delivered oldest daughter to church to do her puppet and got our care group food in the hands of people who would not be as late as we would.
- Got rest of family ready and made sure we all had a change of clothes and went to Mom's.
- Changed Mom's dressing.
- All went to Mom's church. Tolerated with fair amount of patience a 6 year old VERY used to Children's Bible hour at a church that does not have it. Good service, good sermon. I do know all the words to "It Is Well". I don't miss songbooks. I love you powerpoint projected songs.
- Waited for Mom to visit all members of her church.
- Loaded her up and delivered her home safe and sound, smiling.
- Changed clothes on the way to next stop on country deserted road. I can do this very modestly-a rare talent.
- Arrived at tree-cutting party.
- Had a thoroughly enjoyable time watching all of our fellas do some REALLY hard work-love you all big strong woodcutting men-especially you, Erik!! Thoroughly enjoyed picnicing with Sara's excellent neighbors. Watched kids really enjoy a warm summer day. Did not freak out when Lilly had a pacifier and sippy cup. It's just play, right?
- Saw the biggest most impressive slugs ever.
- Procured a jar and collected all the slugs we could find. They are on my kitchen counter in the "science area".
- Rescheduled hair appointment to one hour later.
- Watched with gross-out fascination jarred slugs all the way home.
- Swept and tidied up area a person from church coming by "might" see.
- Lamented person from church did not leave her car.
- Went to hair appt. Had a wonderful visit with a long-time friend. Thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he has the cutest dog ever and he brought her for me to meet. With much restraint-did not mention diet or blogging.
- Enjoying really cute new hair cut and color.
- Tired and must eat one more meal even though I am not remotely hungry. DRIVE to eat completely gone. Eating for nourishment like normal people is really cool. Trying not to tell all of the world about this diet in conversations so I won't look like a fruit loop. Trying unsuccessfully to not blog about it either.
- Enjoying the sales of some of my ebay stuff. I love ebay.
- Shopping for next year's curriculum with ebay money soon.
Good night blogworld. BFF!!
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Assignment via AMI. (A fictional story-go to Ami's blog to read the assignment.) I'm early but this will count as my Saturday blogging!!
I decided that I just could not take it anymore. I needed to get away from my family even if it was only for a short walk around our little community. It was that wonderful time of day where everything is drawing to a close, crickets chirping all around. Fireflies are flickering, not in the full glory the way God intended just yet, as the dark is slowly taking over the daylight. This was my favorite time of day. All along the street, neighbors were sitting out on their porches watching their children play. Lawnmowers were being put away. Kids were getting just a few more minutes of bike riding time in before pedalling quickly home. Dusk- the very tip of the end of the day.
I was approaching my favorite house on our tree-lined street. It was the most recent addition. My children and I had watched it from the time they first broke ground until now-when even the lawn and landscaping were well-established. As they built it we tried to imagine what it would look like and who our new neighbors would be. It was such a large house, we imagined there would be alot of children living there, but we were mistaken. There was only one little girl, eight-year-old Liza. She was a bit of a tomboy, usually wearing rolled up overalls and no shoes. She practically lived in one of the many low-limbed oak trees in her yard. They were good climbing trees. My own children had climbed those trees often before the lot had been surveyed and then purchased by the McCloud family. We were sad to lose such a fun lot to play in-all the neighborhood was, but we had the excitement of the new construction and all our unanswered questions about its occupants to distract us.
Today was no different from usual, I could see Liza's legs dangling down from her roost. I wondered what on earth could make a child love being in a tree so much. She was holding a very large bouquet of flowers in her hand. They were the largest hydrangeas I had ever seen. She had at least 4 of the blue beauties. Somebody somewhere was not a happy camper to have their prize flowers so carelessly plucked away. From the looks of them, slightly wilted, she had been holding them in her hand a while.
My dark mood had passed almost as soon as I walked out the door of my house, smelling the wonderful freshly cut grass mingling with all the other sweet smells of summer. Seeing Liza in that tree with those flowers made me smile and I had to find out what on earth she was up to. As I got closer to the tree, I could see the very tip top of a blue robin egg poking out of her bib overall pocket.
"Hey Liza.", I said. "What are you doing up there with all of those flowers?"
"Just waiting for Mrs. Roberts to get home. Today is her birthday and I have two very special surprises for her. These flowers are one surprise, but I bet you will never ever guess the other one.", Liza answered.
I've never been one to be a surprise spoiler so I smiled and listened as she told me all about how she had found a robin egg that was completely hatched out but still almost completely whole too. It was a very rare find, I had to give her that!! I praised her for being so thoughtful and assured her that our neighbor would love them. Mrs. Roberts was one of the sweetest little old ladies ever. She was newly widowed, Mr. Roberts had passed away only 6 short months before. Everyone loved her and she was probably being treated to a night out to dinner by one of her many friends. Liza knew she would be home before dark and was waiting patiently to present her with the treasures.
Just then we saw lights turning onto our dead end street. Liza recognized the car immediately and hopped down ready to do some big-time surprising. I smiled as I made my way back to the road and headed back toward my own home. God had certainly blessed my walk tonight. It's really hard to be in a bad mood when you are surrounded by the beauty of neighborhood and nature. I couldn't wait to share the story of Liza's surprise with my family. We had taken scones to Mrs. Roberts this morning for her birthday. Mrs. Roberts loved sweets and we loved taking them to her any chance we got. We had seen lots of people come and go all day making her day that much brighter. It was nice to know we were not the only ones remembering such a sweet lady on her special day.
Friday, April 04, 2008
- In trying to effectively communicate how free I feel from my own carb addiction, I was IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY indicting anyone else of being a carb addict. I just wanted to convey the deep sense of relief I feel at being "normal" since Monday. I didn't think you could possibly understand the difference in me without the description. It is a powerful difference. I promise there is no hidden agenda that I am trying to make you see the truth of your addiction-you probably just enjoy eating-it is normal to enjoy eating, everyone is not a carb addict. If you related to the paragraph, the book will help. If the paragraph gave you some sense of guilt that is misplaced, the book will be a waste of money for you!! Some people just like cake...( ; This blog is all about ME, get over yourselves already. (heavy sarcasm intended!)
- I know road rage is very common, but for the most part not something I struggle with. If you must do something stupid while driving, do it in front of me. I will give you a sympathetic wave and will not hunt you down and ride your bumper for a mile giving you a mean look. However, yesterday I experienced "RUDE RAGE". I was sitting in line waiting at a covered doorway- because it was raining CATS AND DOGS- to unload my mom who is now wheel-chair bound and then go and park. She had a dr. appt. and we were quite early because I just never know how long anything will take so I keep us running early. I watch 3 different cars park and run in for a minute because it is raining and they don't want to get wet. None of them parked here for any reason other than selfishness and I was fuming. It took all my inner strength not to say, "Hey, I am waiting to unload a wheelchair here, what are you doing!!!????" We were right on time for our appointment waiting for two people parked to just run in for whatever and one other hubby who was dropping his wife off and smoking while she ran in for whatever. There are alot of handicapped people in the world...this is rude!! Ever unloaded a wheelchair in the rain?? It soaks you to the bone. It was a very frustrating day all around. People are very rude when it is raining. The other day when the sun was out people were going above and beyond to be polite and helpful-but on rainy days-people suck. (IMHO)
- Today was my long awaited hair appointment. 10AM. To say I was excited is the understatement of the century. It is now rescheduled. BAH HUMBUG.
- Today is now a relaxed day, no where that we have to be, nothing pressing that we have to do until later. I am going to savor that. It is raining, of course. Thank you God for keeping everything watered, it looks lovely and green. We don't want another drought this summer, so do what you gotta do. ( :
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I took my oldest kids to a community wide abstinence talk last night. The speaker was Keith Deltano. I was pretty sure he would not be covering anything I had not covered. But oh how I was wrong. However, I am not sorry we went. He was funny, thought provoking, action-inspiring and his parent talk was above top notch. He affirmed most of what I'm already doing but it was good to hear to reinforcement-usually we get, "Oh you are so overprotective. You're sheltering your kids from the world they are gonna have to live in. They are just gonna be crippled when they get older by all the sheltering you have done." They are gonna be shocked by what they see and hear for sure, but crippled?? I don't think so.
My biggest thing I overlooked-not teaching my children what the actual word abstinence means and also since I have taught them from an early age that sex is for marriage, I don't think it occurred to them that anyone did it any differently. Those are huge things to overlook!! However, the lines of communication are more open than they have ever been so it is all good.
Accolades to our church for communicating very clearly what a great program it was!! (That means you, Mike!)
PS. IF you don't have a filter on your computer, go to www.filterreview.com and get yourself one. I downloaded one last night-talk about waiting until the last minute!!! (My kids hardly ever get on the computer and they are supervised when they do!) There is one called K-9 that is free so make no excuses-at least get that one. No one needs to see some of the crap that is out there!!
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Addiction Level 3 (the highest level) I will paraphrase but this is copied loosely from pages 68-69 from The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet ISBN # 0-451-17339-2.
"While cravings for starches and snack foods continue at level 3, the drive for sweets can become very strong. At this level, snack foods and desserts are preferred. Most meat or protein is consumed with bread as a sandwich. Meals seem incomplete without sweets. Sweets provide an initial surge of relief, they don't really satisfy the addict. These people eat when not hungry, when they don't have an urge to eat, and when they don't even want to eat. Food doesn't seem to taste especially good. The experience of eating becomes more of a compulsion or duty. The addict at level 3 is eating because of a driving need to eat- a physical, inner demand to eat-rather than out of enjoyment. Periods of eating are non-distinct from periods of non-eating. Rather than separate meals, continuous snacking-large and small snacks-takes place."
Just reading that paragraph makes me shiver because it was me and I did not even realize it. I knew I ate alot. I knew I was fat. I did not realize the extent of my problem or how easy it would be to remedy. The book is really quick to point out that not all fat people are carb addicts and not all thin people are not. I don't want you to assume all fat people are addicts-there is usually a reason why people are overweight, but sometimes it is the types of food they regularly eat(McD's, Pizza) not the quantity. I believe this is a legitimate thing for some people who will read the above and relate OR they will gasp aloud and not relate.
I just had to post that description so you can fully appreciate the fact that: I no longer am consumed by the urge to eat. I sorted out candy today for edible cells for my science class and ATE NONE. Take it farther, I had no urge to eat candy that I was surpressing. I have a whole bag of candy that I have no desire to binge on. THIS HAS NEVER EVER EVER happened to me before. I can recall going places where they would be serving glazed donuts-one of my least favorite foods-and polishing off 2 or 3. And then with all the shame and willpower I could muster-refusing to eat anymore no matter how much I wanted another. I can recall instances of watching a skinny person eat something and hating them for being able to leave food on their plate. Especially if it were chocolate cake. Who doesn't finish chocolate cake?? Shaking my head in disbelief that someone would not eat a candy bar?? Why would anyone not eat chocolate?
This is why I just keep walking around amazed. My choice has been returned to me and I am so empowered it is unreal. I do enjoy my reward meal-to the fullest. The habit of eating is still there. The constant urges are not. What remains is the psychological part which will take a while to go away-like tonight, I ate my daughters' pizza crusts greedily fearing that I might blow it later because 2 pieces of pizza and some cookies couldn't possibly hold me over. In the back of my mind I was thinking I would be dying of hunger right now and certain to binge. I am not and I feel exactly the same as the first night when I ate an unpublishable amount of food during my reward meal.
The basic plan is eat breakfast-less than 4 carbs-I eat a ham and cheese omelette and two cups of salad or approved veggies (celery for me). Lunch, less than 4 carbs-2 cups of salad or approved veggies. Reward meal-eat anything you want for one hour. Any food, any drink, any quantity. You must stop after one hour. I can't usually last more than 15-20 minutes or even finish most things I have started after day 1(I put away alot of food that first day at my reward meal!!). The meals are interchangeable, so if I wanted to I could have reward breakfast and then do good at the other two meals-but my pattern is to binge at night so I am a little scared to vary it at all!!
I can't explain why it works. I just can testify that it does. OH YEAH, this is also PMS week so normally that top paragraph is intesified by 10 during PMS week!!
I will try not to blog about it anymore. Until I have lost a boatload of weight. And IF by some bizarre freakiness, I don't lose weight? I won't care, because I am free.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Praise God Almighty, I am free at last. It is day 2 of the carb addicts diet. Day TWO, is that clear-it is only day 2. However, my mind has not been thinking about eating healthy and being tempted by the temptation food of the day. I have thought about lots of things that have no relation to food. I have peered into an Easter bucket of candy and NOT been tempted. I am not depressed because I can never have carbs or sugar again in my life-because I can have as many as I want ONCE a day. There are snack cakes and tiny chocolate bunnies just remaining on the kitchen counterspace. Hubby bought 24 ice cream sandwiches from the Schwann's truck and they will not trip me up. I will post more on this later-but for right now, for the first time in probably 30 years-I don't feel like a slave to food and it feels mighty fine. So this is how the other half lives. Cool.