Monday, September 28, 2009

Festivating

It has been a very busy week! Hubby has worked so hard this vacation! He did stage production for a certain BBQ event and therefore worked harder during this particular vacation than if he was working. He also drummed with all of his bands during the course of the festival. I think he is probably glad to have another year over and done with. Oh, don't get me wrong, he LOVES every minute of it. It's just that Wed. through Sat. working 10-12 hour days is tiring towards the end. We like going to see him while he works and getting to ride in the ATV that he commandeers to aid the musicians and their gear. IT saves us a few steps and increases Lilly's wow factor exponentially.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have stayed pretty busy too. Wednesday, we went to an Ag Day near the regional college and it was a blast. We saw and identified fish from KY Lake, learned about electricity, KY commodities, forestry, soil, animals and all in all it was a great field trip. Our county is having one this Friday, I think we will not double dip. The agenda seems to be the same.

Thursday, after schooling, we got our BBQ fix. Our day was filled with the sights and sounds of the festival. Good times. It is the best time to go and yet still very well attended. There are always crowds, thank goodness because this event finances every charity in existence in our town.

Friday, we had science co-op featuring the dissection of a worm and a starfish. We had to leave promptly to get to arts and crafts club in another city so my oldest two could decoupage. Next month is basket weaving. I am loving our homeschool group this year. It is so nice to have activities that are just for my older ones sprinkled in with our other stuff.

Saturday, we started THE BIG READ with our town giving away 500 copies of To Kill A Mockingbird. The older girls are involved in a reading group that will study this book over the next few weeks. This is one of my favorite books and movies. We met Scout, or at least the lady who played Scout in the movie. Erika even got to pet her dog who was riding in style in a very posh stroller. Even Lilly is excited about reading this book.

Saturday evening, we caught up with Erik's sister who was visiting to attend the BBQ fest. We had a relaxed visit, caught up a bit and then went home to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Sunday, my favorite day, I will postpone blogging for tomorrow. This post is long already! It does have a little something to do with butterflies!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Randomly Odd

  • My husband dressed up like a hippie for his porkstock gig. None of his bandmates recognized him at first.
  • My hair is uber curly today and resembles the hippy wig hubby wore last night.
  • Vikings are very interesting.
  • My bullets are turned in for this week...my sister has rationed me down to only one box a week now and I can't share with my friends. ) : I fear my work at home job is coming to an end very soon.
  • I have endless calls to return.
  • I took the kids on a field trip yesterday and it wore me out. I had to take a long nap to recover. My Dr. appt. needs to happen soon!!
  • Rain is only nice once or twice a week. Then it is quite a bother.
  • BBQ is mighty fine. If you are in this end of the state, you should go get some!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Easy As Pie

Posterboard, markers, a box, and 4 hot wheels will entertain two toddlers as long as you want them to be entertained.

I do miss thse days. It never gets easier. You get more sleep, they dress themselves and can get themselves in and out of the car but it doesn't get easier in any other way.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good for the Soul?

Confession is good for the soul or so they say. I have not confessed anything in a while, the jig is up.

  • I don't use a laundry basket to transport dirty clothes to the washer or clean clothes from the dryer. I wrap my loving arms around lots of laundry, clean or dirty, instead. It is kind of a stupid habit. It is because I have the following three laundry baskets: the broken cheap round white one full of 'goodwill stuff', the good blue one full of mismatched socks, and the other good blue one full of an assortment of clothing shoved in there last time company was on the way and stacks of clothes were everywhere.
  • I think it is easier to have extra kids over to visit because mine love having company and it is almost like having no kids. This is especially true, shockingly, if there are three extra kids and all of my girls have one of their very own.
  • My great nephew hates me. He is the most adorable thing from a distance. He raises his little eybrow at me and smiles so sweetly. Then I hold him and you would think I pulled his gorgeous little hair. Most babies respond to me this way. My own babies loved me. All others, not so much. I finally told him today, I won't try to play with you again until you are a toddler (big fat lie) and then we can play cars together. Toddlers love me.
  • I have piles of paperwork/books/caalogs/junk mail all over my table and bar. I am slowly sifting through them but no one can tell, no-not even me.
  • I have not recorded a single grade in my gradebook this year. Can you say procrastinate?

Good grief already. I could go all night with this but that is quite enough. My tens of readers can only handle so many confessions at a time. Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Routine, Anyone?

I have been totally stressed out since school started about our schedule and our daily/weekly routines. Everything has been so chaotic and I didn't want to start a bunch of new 'organizing' things that I might not follow through with. Add to that the fact that I determined before school ever started that we would be very social this year-extracurricular would be our middle name. So I gave it to God. I submitted my control to His. I finally decided that I can NOT do this without His help. I have slowed down my pulse, tried to take things one thing at a time and held on (mostly) for the ride.

While this has been our most unusual year to date, things are becoming almost effortless. I just noticed last week that we do have a routine and it works. AND, if I would make it an intentional routine, it would work even better. So, I don't have to reinvent the wheel, I can just go with the momentum we already have.

This week I have slowly gotten better at getting up earlier than what had become my 9 o'clock usual. I have gotten up at 7, 8:30, and 7:30. I have made sure to get to bed by 1. I will slowly change my bedtime to earlier which will automatically made my rise time earlier. I don't sleep too much, I just hate going to bed. Staying up too late makes me not want to get up...vicious cycle. Getting up earlier is the right thing to do. It makes our days much more productive. Unbelievably more productive.

I am so thankful to serve a God that cares about my day. I am thankful he 'wakes me up' to the things I am doing right as often as he wakes me up to the things I am doing wrong. I am very thankful he has made routine achievable-even for a routine buster like me!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BLAH!

I am sore today. It was a hard hit. I think it is funny that God knew I would need encouragement with my productive list. Chiropractor appointment is now in place!!

Today is going to be a catch-up day and so far all I have accomplished is lunch (chili) and starting a load of laundry. Productivity, please come visit me today. I promise to play nicely and share my toys. If you happen to see Motivation on your way over, bring her as well. I'll even serve you up some chili if you're hungry.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rec-time

We were in a big long line of cars today. It was very stop and go. Once I barely stopped in time. Just as the "Whew!" escaped my lips, we were hit from behind. Three girls all squealed loudly...maybe 4, LOL. And there I was, the mini-van filling in a three car accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Even the cars would have been OK except for my trailer hitch ball. They will flat out smash a radiator.

I instructed the girl who 'bumped' us to pull way over because her radiator was toast and she was not gonna be driving anywhere. She at age 20 is engaged to a man stationed far away with the Navy. Her mom is in the hospital in Nashville. She was willing to be dropped off somewhere to wait, but I just wanted her to be stranded at home if she had to be stranded. So we took her home. I could not feel good about her riding in a tow truck.

It was certainly a lively afternoon. I hope tomorrow is boring!!

I Love You, Monday!

Today, I am making a fresh start. I am intent on making my life better in many ways. I have become slovenly about too many things. I hope to keep you all posted on how I'm doing, and you can keep me encouraged. Here is my 'to do' list.
  • Lay out school for my kiddos the night before. The morning scramble was keeping us all stressed and showed some very poor time management skilz.
  • Maintain the housework. Instead of letting things 'go' to a point where I have to spend oodles of time taking it back. Two loads of laundry every day is better than 15 loads in one day.
  • I am going to make an appointment about my knee. I am going to start with my chiropractor and then go from there.
  • I am going to make an appointment with an internal medicine specialist about my thyroid troubles. Something is not right and a little blood test just doesn't feel like what I need right now.
  • I am restarting Weight Watchers. I have a whole binder of info and it is free right now. Good timing.
  • I am going to start walking every day. I hope to add in some other kinds of exercise eventually but I know if I don't start small and achievable, I won't do anything.

So, there are my Monday morning goals. I am going to hold myself accountable by posting an update every Monday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Not A Lutheran...

Writing, Leadership : 84%
Administration: 78%
Hospitality: 59%
Pastoral, Service: 50%
Mercy, Evangelism, Artistry: 42%
Wisdom, Knowledge: 34%
Teaching, Discernment, Intercession: 25%

...but I did take their spiritual gifts quiz. AND, I agree with my results for the most part. I don't see myself as a leader, but I do have people share with me that I am on a regular basis. I certainly don't ever mind being in charge of things although that is often not my preference. I just feel that someone has to be and if no one else is stepping up, I'll just do it.





The writing and administration I do realize and dearly love both. Passionately. Also I love service and mercy. What does pastoral mean??? I'll have to research that one. I score pretty low in knowledge, wisdom and teaching. That makes me chuckle because that is the place I am used most often at my church. It is a good thing I am not using the old standby, "That's just really not my gift." If I had a nickel for every time I heard that during the TEN years I help lead our pre-school classes, I'd be rich.





So, go take the test. I'd love to hear about your gifts!! It does not give you exact percentages...it is a bar graph.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Auntie Fester

I am a festerer. I am trying not to be. I am not as bad as I once was. However, it still exists. Often I have knee-jerk responses of anger and hostility that grow into a large festering boil. Hence my new name for myself, Auntie Fester. God is working on this personality accessory. He does this by providing me a few REALLY GOOD friends that read my blog, hold my feet to the fire and insist I speak up or shut up. I know they would prefer to eliminate the whole blog post...maybe someday. Right now that is just part of processing things for this old Auntie.



So anyway, a recent molehill that had grown almost as big as Mount Washmore is resolved. Perhaps permanently on my part. I don't want to say that I have lowered my expectations because that isn't exactly what has happened. I would say it is more like I have developed an ability to be more empathetic. I am developing an ability to argue both sides of the debate and recognize that sometimes no one is 'right' and there is not a clear 'winner'. There are always 2 sides to every story and an unhealthy bias to both of those sides no matter how objective we think we are.

I am divorcing the notion of perfect fellowship because that just can't happen this side of heaven.



I am thankful to have a real family at my church- real meaning you just really get on each other's nerves sometimes but the relationship and Godly value is too high to just let it go. You have to push through the conflicts, serve hefty doses of mercy all around, build a bridge and get over it. I am thankful to be able to indeed, get over it. I am also thankful for the spiritual maturity that God has begun in me. My friend, I'll call her Simply Sandy, once reminded me how easy it is to maintain online blog relationships where everyone hears your side and spurs you on. She then went on to say in the real world where people know both sides of the story, you are held to a higher standard of accountability. Blogging friends are fun, but personal growth is much more likely to happen in real life relationships. It is a double blessing to have friends who are in both worlds. God bless my wise friends.

In conclusion...I have built a bridge and I am over it. Until the next Festivus...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Oh Lilly!!

Yesterday we ran into our Associate Preacher, Mike and his wife, Sara walking out of Kroger as we were walking in. Hugs all around- a gut buster from Lilly. Mike remarked how glad he was that Lilly is taller now...the insanely awkward hugs are not as awkward now. ( ; Then Lilly proceeds to look at the rings on his fingers-a cross ring on one hand and his wedding band on the other. Then she says:

"I didn't know you two were married." Much chuckling all around. We just never know what goes on in that brain of hers or when it is going to be spoken allowed.

This morning I asked her who she thought Mike was married to. She said she thought he and Sara were engaged and Sara just made sure to always be there anytime the youth group was over.

Mike, Sara-congrats again on being married and looking soooo young that you aren't even married yet. Just wait until we tell her you both are finished with college and have jobs.

Laboring

Yesterday, hubby and I labored jointly on the monumental task of making our shower decent. When we moved in, it left alot to be desired and so we put it on a back burner. Over the years, we have had many industrious cleaning bouts with it but none like yesterday. I took the doors outside for a serious scrubbing and Hubby did the same inside. We both used some serious cleaning product combined with serious elbow grease. AND, it looks pretty good. I still desperately want a new shower-preferably a nice tile shower, but it will suffice until the day we have some extra thousands to throw around.

Today I cleaned all the trash cans and worked on laundry while Erik took the girls to the parade. They had a ball and I loved being alone at home. Now we are at my in-laws. We have eaten like kings and now we are doing the whole laying about thing. I have the best in-laws ever. They spoil us almost every holiday and sometimes even when there is no holiday. We are blessed.

This afternoon I plan to do some more cleaning. I hate cleaning but it really has to get done...even if it quickly gets undone. However, I won't rush our laying about time here...where it is always clean.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Power

Power, it is just another word, right? People have lived and died for and as a direct result of power. Who has the power is often what determines whether or not a marriage works or sometimes if it can be saved. What kind of role does power play in the life of a Christian? Which pew does power sit in at church? Who determines who has the power?

Power is on my brain today. There are other words I might us, like influence, but I prefer to use the tough word for it. POWER. It makes a statement. It is bold and raw. It isn't dressed up and politically correct. I am talking about the kind of power that hurts. The power that one person asserts over another-or lots of others. I am not talking about DENNY CRANE power that loudly asserts itself to anyone who will listen. I'm talking about the quiet pervasive power that goes bump in the night. The power that seeps in slowly and takes your breath away because you didn't expect it.

That is the kind of power I am thinking about. Mostly I am praying about it. We all have power. We all have the potential to use our power to get our way. What happens if I use it to such an extent that good people are hurt. What happens if I start thinking my way is the best, my people are the best, my preferences are every one's preferences-or they should be. What if I start to think I know who God wants to fill servant positions and I ignore the call someone else may feel in their life. Who wins if I always get what I want?

Honestly, who am I? I am but a vapor. Nothing I do here has any merit without the will of my Father at its root. He is the perfect parent, he has no favorites. He equips the called, not calls the equipped. He is strong where we are weak. The people who can be used most mightily might not be the people we think of first. It is not His will that one person be declared 'better' than another. EVAH. NO NOT EVAH. So why does it keep happening? It breaks my heart. In a thousand itty bitty slivers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Me, Work?




My sister's factory needs extremely temporary help sorting small plastic tubes. They each have a tiny number stamped on the bottom. It is hard to see. Only about 20% of each batch is 'good'. I am busily sorting the good from the bad. This is why I am not a very good blogger, mother, wife, friend, etc. This pretty much answers a question I've been asking myself: Can I juggle homelife and a career/job. Yes, but not very well. Not very well at all.




Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Book Review: Surrender All


Surrender All by Joni Lamb is a book about trusting God. I have to admit, I did not love the beginning of this book at all. I thought Joni was entirely too pretty and didn't look like she ever overslept or had a bad day. I did not want to read about another perfect life that turned out all perfectly perfect. I TOTALLY judged a book by its cover. THEN, I started reading all about the trials Joni and her husband went through to start a TV station for God. AND THEN, after they were successful, God told them to sell and go somewhere else and start from scratch. So, being someone who happens to believe that God doesn't really care WHERE I live-He cares HOW I live, I began to REALLY struggle with this book. However, making my way through the rest of the book, I began to change my mind.


It covers surrendering friendships, marriage, children and more to God. All to help us understand that God is a giving God. When we surrender ourselves, our will, our plans to Him, he blesses us exponentially. When we don't surrender, it not only doesn't FREE us, it works right into the plans of the evil one. The evil one doesn't want us to ever receive blessings so he will make us feel that surrender is pointless.


I have surrendered many things through the years and God has always honored it. Even little things, like going to church. I don't always like to go to church. It is ALWAYS a struggle for me. I am selfish with my time. Mostly because I think 99% of people don't even notice when you sacrifice time for them. Especially church attendance-that is like a Christian responsibility that shalt not be shirked!! Some treat it like a Christian time card that must be punched. So, giving up a Wednesday night to go to a church service that may or may not leave me feeling closer to God is always an inner battle. God knows this about me and so I almost always receive "little extras" when I surrender my free will and go to church. Maybe it is having a REAL conversation with a friend going through tough stuff. Maybe it is one of my kids or myself being impacted in a way that improves our home life. Maybe it is just feeling like I have communed with God and family. GOD always honors my sacrifice of time.


Joni Lamb in this book makes the bold statement that God wants us to truly surrender all. It is a stretch for me to hear that. Not because I have not heard it all my life. Not because I think she is wrong. Mostly it is hard to hear because my selfish self does not want to surrender. My selfish self prefers to not give up things without a fight. I like to play my cards close to my chest and only sacrifice when there is something in it for me. God doesn't honor that. He loves me anyway, but He wants me to be more than that. Surrender, true surrender, is more than just lip service. I could talk a big talk about how important it is, but that doesn't mean a thing to God. He is a God that requires action, not talking about it.


I guarantee you that if you make any sacrifice of yourself-preferences, time, marriage, etc.-God will give it back to you ten times better. Keep in mind though, it may take some time before that happens. He is not a God bound by time in any way. Most of the time his blessings are like a mutual fund-very slow growth not an ATM that dispenses instant cash.


I recommend Surrender All by Joni Lamb. I also recommend surrendering all. I also admit, it is one of the hardest things in the world to do.