Saturday, January 29, 2011


  • I have slept in a little, but do not consider 8:30 truly sleeping in.  I wake my kids up Monday thru Friday.  They return the favor on the weekend.  It is wrong.
  • I made my all time high score on word search on Facebook.  I thought I was immune to Facebook gimmicks...oh but I love love love a good word search.  Add a timer, points and competition and I am hooked.
  • I listened to Lilly sing her heart out almost all day and play her piano just for fun and wondered for the fifty-eleventh time how I can fit her piano lessons back into our life.  Her teacher was awesome and Lilly is a natural.  Top of the 'make it happen' list.
  • I decided to take a day off from the hospital and nursing home.  Actually I am officially taking two days off because I am not going tomorrow either.  (Side note: My mom fell in the shower last Sunday and broke her pelvis and a rib and has a huge hematoma on her back.  Because she is in the hospital, my stepfather had to have a temporary stay in the nursing home.)  I have been every day this week to both places except Wednesday, which was a snow day. 
  • I happily made seafood alfredo from the ingredients my husband brought home.  It was delicious and was a perfect reward for him washing the cars today.
  • I caught up on laundry almost completely.  Completely is a dream people!!  Not reality.
  • I read and caught up on the blog of friends at church in the process of adoption.  They saw their boy today.  I'm really emotional already.  My eyes may have watered a tiny bit.  Being fixed doesn't remedy the kind of baby fever watching this process gives me.  Such an amazing gift for everyone involved.  Parallels with the salvation story so much...what a blessing!
  • I planned my whole evening around attending a homecoming game so I could see one of my favorite teens from church be in the homecoming court.  I learned that homeschool queen coronation does not occur during half-time of a basketball game, it happens way before and completely separate from the game.   Sooo, next time we do something schoolish, we will be sure we are armed with all of the details since I do not know the rules. 
  • I was bummed about the aforementioned, but I did get to watch one of my former Girl Scouts play some basketball and wave to a couple of others.  We stayed for the entire girl's game and half of the boy's game.  The girls played a tough game, but lost and the boys were losing at half time.  It has been many years since I attended a high school basketball game and I really like watching basketball every now and then.  I played basketball in middle school and loved every minute of it.  I also went to all the high school basketball games in early middle school-before my county consolidated.  I loved it.  In high school, not so much-the school was way bigger and I did not know everyone so it didn't feel so much like MY team.
  • Now, I am at last catching up on my blog.  And I thought I didn't have anything to blog.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When God Speaks... have to be blind, deaf, and extremely distracted not to hear Him.  I used to think that I had to have morning quiet time and be surrounded by silence to hear God speak to me.  Quite frankly, in a house of early risers-3 of which are mouthy girls(like their momma), 2 big dogs and a cat that is the model of 'curious cat', I have given up on morning quiet time.  For a few years of my life I truly thought that meant I would not be able to have a close relationship with God until...LATER.  When life would allow me to have early morning quiet time.

And yet, as I look back over my life, I can see that I have had a strong relationship with God all along.  He has matured me despite my circumstances and despite my 'giving up'.  What are some of the ways He has 'spoken' to me?

  • Once upon a time in a rocky place in my marriage, I wanted a divorce.  I searched the scriptures over and over and could find no comfort.  (This is NOT true for everyone, by the way, but it was for me.)  I was so mad at God.  I wanted what I wanted.  I stayed in my marriage, like an angry toddler. Soon the valley became a peak and then another valley, then a peak and so on until I learned that marriage is a pattern like that.  Today, I am so grateful to a God that knew it would be the first of many valleys in my marriage----just like ALL marriages have PEAKS and VALLEYS.  A God that knew I could not read through scripture and find a comfortable way out or I would have taken it and given up on something that has grown me and defined me like few other things ever have-my marriage to my wonderful husband.  (Plus I have made him eligible for sainthood for staying married to moody me all these years!)
  • I never wanted children.  I come from a crazy, dysfunctional home and I just did not feel like I could risk passing on my negative traits to another generation.  Plus, I didn't like children.  Well maybe one or two, but not all the time...just when they were really cute for a second and then went on about their business(quietly).  All of my children are unplanned and amazing blessings.  To think of life without them makes me sick.  The three most miraculous days of my life are the days my children were born.  They have individually and corporately balanced my thinking and taught me how to be selfless and love unconditionally.  God spoke trust, mercy and grace to me by entrusting me with three beautiful girls.
  • I've always loved stuff and looked forward to a day when my house would be filled with beautiful Victorian antiques and cherry furnishings galore.  I wanted everything to be 'just so' and always ready for 'entertaining' VIPs.  God has VERY SLOWLY brought me to a place where stuff does not really mean alot anymore.  Victorian does not appeal to me any more and cherry really shows way too much dust.  The VIPs I choose to entertain these days are my friends and family and they love me whether the house is clean or dirty.  They don't care that my furnishings are 'comfortable' and neither do I.  It has taken many years, but God's message to me about stuff is loud and clear-it is nice but not even remotely eternal.
Now, for the biggest, most impressive gift God has spoke to me lately?  It has come from two very unrelated sources:  My doctor, a man that used to be a little chubby guy but now is thin (I am using his diet plan to lose is about thoughts and actions more than diet.) and Rick Warren, a man that I have never met who happened to write a book. (The Purpose Driven Life which should be required reading for all Christians!)

These two men came along at just the right time in my life to teach me how powerful the thoughts are that float around in my brain.  I always thought attitude was important, but never realized until lately that it is ESSENTIAL to a happy CHRISTIAN life.   The funny thing is, in addition to those two men, there are more than a dozen other ways God is communicating this message to me:
  1. a song on the radio
  2. blogs
  3. a friend that I love to be around
  4. a scripture
  5. teaching middle schoolers the book of Esther
  6. a sermon
  7. a support group meeting
  8. a message hidden in the middle of a fiction novel
  9. a principal at a new school
  10. from the mouths of my children
  11. a talk show
  12. flipping through channels and finding Joyce Meyer telling me it is all about my attitude
  13. losing a dear friend that believed, 'People are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.'
When God has a message for us, He goes all out to make sure we get it.  He takes as many years as he needs to because he doesn't live by a clock.  He is a patient, loving potter.  He knows exactly how I am supposed to 'turn out'.  I am a clay pot that started as an ugly lump of clay. 

Thankfully, by the time God is finished with me, I will be proven PRICELESS by God who already knows I am.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Okay...this is one of those stories that Lilly will kill me for one day.  The good news is that she does not read my blog and NO ONE will tell her about this post because they do NOT want to hear all about her puberty live which she would immediately launch into if told about this post.  I'm raising a very transparent daughter and I am beginning to understand why Erik walked around shell-shocked in the early years of our marriage.  Then he got used to me a little bit AND I began to share less and less of the intimate details of our lives.  Transparency is an acquired taste.

One of our good friends, Lance, told me this story about Lilly after teaching her church class one day.  Apparently, Lilly was not at all in a good mood.  She wasn't her usual bubbly self.  No smiles, just glares.  At some point Lance asked her what was wrong.  Her answer?

"It's puberty, OKAY!"  This was spoken with every ounce of teen angst she could muster.

Lilly is an amazing kid.  She is full of zeal, excitement for life and sometimes has been known to really make people crazy.  She does not pick up subtle nuances...she cannot sense when someone is 'done' playing.  She never tires of playing, witty banter or wrestling.  Sometimes it takes a very firm no for her to understand.  I am usually standing on the sideline hoping this will be the time she begins to understand a nuance and that her feelings are not too injured.  Luckily, she bounces back very quickly and forgives along with forgetting. time out here.  The nuance thing reminds me of my friend Jon.  Once, when we were in high school, our drama teacher invited us to her home to work on a drama assignment.  There were 3 or 4 girls and Jon.  We arrived a bit on the early side.  She and her family were finishing up supper-KFC.  She politely offered us some.  There was clearly not enough for all any of us.  All of us girls immediately declined...I guess we sensed there wasn't enough or Jon was so cute we did not dare eat in front him.  Either way, Jon said, "YES! I love KFC."  Then he proceeds to chow down on some chicken.  I don't think our teacher got any chicken for her supper.  As we teased him about it later, he confessed he didn't notice how much chicken there was.  He went on to add, "Oh well, it was pretty rude of her to offer it if there wasn't enough to offer."  He remains one of my forever friends.  I'll take a failure to notice over an insincere offering any day. ( ;

Meanwhile, back to the blog post...I am pretty sure that now,  many months after Lance sharing that story with me, we must be on the cusp of puberty.  Lilly often loses her cool with the same intensity that she enjoys life.  It takes time alone in her room to get it back and THEN, she feels very bad.  Puberty is tough all around...but exuberant puberty is going to require some extra knee time for me.  I need to hone my proactive skills and squash back my reactive skills.  Something tells me this round of puberty is going to be me 'paying for my raising' as the saying goes.  I just hope I saved up enough!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Update

I am blogging to keep from lying down to take a 3 hour nap.  Soooo tempting.  I keep telling myself that I should be productive and a nap that long will just make me feel terrible.  I went to bed at 10 and got up at 6:30...I have had plenty of sleep.  It is just that constant nudge to hibernate, because Baby, it's cold outside.  Plus, I need to blog to catch up on life and not just facebook, or as I like to call it, Blog Lite.  So, because there are too many topics to have a nice coherent post, bullets for your reading pleasure:

  • I started my job yesterday and I love it.  Okay, I don't love it, but I really like it.  It is just complicated enough to be challenging.  By the end of a 6 hour shift, I felt like it was something I could definitely do well and without any added stress.  The job yesterday was a reset, so I got to see lots of different ways to do the same job because several people work together to do the reset.  I know which way I want to work and I look forward to working alone.  My  inner introvert that has been suppressed for so long by a chatty extrovert loves this job.  The approximate 10 hours a week I will be working (on a good week) are not going to make us rich, but it is a nice gradual phase-in for back to work.
  • All three of my kids made the honor roll.  I am very proud of them and also homeschooling as a whole.  Many people wrongly assume that homeschoolers are always way behind when (if) they re-enter the school system.  I am happy our family is helping to dispel that myth.
  • I continue to be impressed with our schools.  My kids are doing well on school work but they are also not bored and unchallenged...a myth among homeschoolers. (The prejudice goes both ways!)  Have I mentioned my relief at not having to grade papers or do lesson plans?  Yeah, I thought so.
  • My dad is 70 years old.  Last Sunday, he came to church for the first time.  He chose my church due to its size. (Two of my sisters go to a HUGE church and one does not attend.)  I don't think he was really too excited about it.  I asked him what he thought and he said it was "long".  I am amazed and impressed that he came.  I am reluctant to process any feelings beyond that because I'm not sure this will be a constant.  I am thankful to a God that answers prayers...sometimes many many many years after they are prayed.  I fully realize that church isn't really 'fun' if you don't 'know' God.  I also fully realize that most people make a step inside a church to meet Him...I pray that is what is happening with my dad.
  • My sister, Linda, and I have spent alot of time together lately and especially this week.  She has a new job and is also going back to school.  Since her job has not quite started yet and I have kids in school now, we have had a bit of time to fellowship.  It's been nice.
  • I still miss my cat, Gray Gray.  I am very thankful we got a little black kitten about 6 months before Gray Gray died.  It has really been comforting.  Even though this cat is nowhere near the precious lapcat that my angel was, she does entertain us with her antics.  AND sometimes, when she is sleepy and cold...she graces our laps with her presence.  I'm sad for people without pets.  They don't know what they are missing. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Friendship for Grown-ups by Lisa Whelchel A Review

I started reading this book about a year ago.  I read through the first chapter and was instantly annoyed.  She went on and on about how hard it was to be a star and have friends.  WAH!  Poor pitiful star, I thought.  I tried to get through the next few pages, but honestly, my spirit was closed to her.  Months passed and I felt guilt every time I looked at the book on the shelf.  After all, I made a commitment to Thomas Nelson to review the book.  I decided I would rather never review another book again if it meant having to read some star's drivel about how hard it was to be famous and make friends.  I also had guilt because Lisa Whelchel is a poster child for the Proverbs 31 woman...and a homeschooler.  I am supposed to love her and all of her books.

Fast forward many months.  I sat here today thinking, yes, I will review this book.  I must.  Then I skimmed through the chapters.  I am blown away.  I think God allowed me to shelve this book until now because HIS TIMING IS PERFECT.  This book is everything I need to read about friendship, co-dependency and being to needy in friendship.  She shares her heart aches and rejections in such a soul baring way that it gave me chill bumps.  I think she may be my twin sister. 

If you have ever been 'dumped' for being a bit 'too clingy'.  If you have frequent 'break-ups' with close girl friends.  If you are frequently disappointed by the female relationships in your life.  If any or all of these are true, you need this book.  It is the healing balm for your hurting soul. 

Lisa Whelchel, I am sincerely sorry I doubted you.  I now see why you included those pages in your story.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year!!

  • I haven't blogged at all this year.  I don't know where the time went.  heehee.  I love this joke, we continue to overuse it about almost everything for about a week and then we let it go until next year. 
  • I haven't had chocolate all year...
  • Tomorrow, I will enroll Kayla in school and then all three of my kids will be back in public school.  Part of me really wanted to honor Kayla's very sincere wish to remain homeschooled.  Then my frail overworked brain and psyche stood up for themselves and insisted I take a different guilt trip instead. I simply have no more homeschool left in me.  I can't say if it is forever or not, but I do know it is definitely true for now and in the near future.  I believe all three of my children will do very well in school.  I also know that I will miss them severely, achingly and almost constantly.  I will not, however, miss lesson plans, paper grading, or listening to bickering. 
  • I think I am officially having a midlife crisis.  This may mean I will die at a very young 76.  I just cannot think of any other explanation.  I really, really want to make some serious changes in my life.  I remain committed to becoming healthier.  I can't wait to have time to finish some projects I have started.  I want to accomplish some 'ME' goals.  I nearly come unglued if someone tries to tell me what to do these days.  I think about taking road trips by myself to anywhere.  I desperately want to shave my hair off so I won't have to worry about fixing it anymore (or cleaning up all the hair everywhere!).  PLUS, I am always cold so that these crazy mood swings can't be menopause.  If you see me looking at or test driving a red Mercedes convertible, send money FAST!
  • I am employed!!  I have no schedule or work assignments, but I do have official job confirmation and training materials.  I work for American Greetings as a merchandiser.  I will get to stock and tidy up cards at local shopping establishments.  I am so excited to work again.  My hours will be both flexible and minimal.  I had that requirement.  Even though my kids are in school now, they are still my priority and I want to be available to them any time I am needed.  (Except when I take that road trip...)
  • I did not make a New Year's resolution.  I am sticking to my life resolution of getting down to a healthy weight and that is all I can manage right now.  It is a hard fight to get the weight off, stick to an exercise plan and not revert right back to my old habits.  My short term goal is to be 24 pounds thinner by February 3-my 39th birthday.   My long term goal is to be at 140 pounds by next Christmas.  Goals seem to work better for me than resolutions.
  • I should probably resolve to be a nicer, friendlier wife.  My husband may be eligible for sainthood pretty soon.  He is putting up with the aforementioned midlife crisis and yet he continues to buy me nice things for Christmas and surprise me with Chong's by candlelight on New Year's Eve.  I am blessed...moody but blessed.
School tomorrow and here I am staying up too late...I hope you are enjoying this fresh new year.  I have high hopes that it will be a year of positive achievements for me and my family.  I wish you all the same.