Sunday, April 24, 2011


That is who the weather we are having is pleasing.  Ducks.  Seems there are lakes and ponds cropping up all over the place.  Also, my water-loving lab is very content.  She loves nothing more than swimming in, sitting in and taking in large amounts of water.  She is a happy camper, let me tell you.  Today, she was even licking water off of the very tall grass.  Why is the grass very tall?  The rain has not let up in days.  There was a small window on Thursday to get the yard mowed.  We missed it.  We are not the only ones...there are lots of tall grass yards in neighborhoods that are usually meticulously manicured.  Yesterday, we attended a local egg hunt and the hunt was mostly on sidewalks and close beside the sidewalks.  The rain stayed away for most of the morning, but the storms and rain came back overnight and have not let up.  Our egg hunts were indoors today.  It was also still a great deal of fun, but different.  Easter memories.  Everyone present could recall at least one year of their life when the rain was so bad the egg hunt was indoors.  This lead to even more stories about rotten eggs since real eggs were hunted in the great egg hunts of bygone eras.  Precious memories, how they linger.

There is rain forecasted for the next few days and we already have no where left for the rain to go.  People are comparing now to the great flood of 1937 which affected many river towns large and small in this major river area.  I wish I had some really cute rain boots and a matching rain coat.  I'm pretty sure I would get some major wear this month.

If you need me, I will be hunting down some gopher wood for a building project that might need to get underway soon.

 Have a great Easter...the short time left of it.  Because HE lives, I can face tomorrow-rain or shine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I am challenged in so many areas right now.  The part of me that feels like I've never done enough always haunts me.  I never know if the Spirit of God is prompting me into action or if the perfectionist in me is trying desperately to feel 'good'.  The result is often a poor momma giving it up and choosing inaction...which benfits none.  How I long to be one of those free-wheeling people that just handle things as they come along, not fretting and worrying-just doing.  Instead, the wheels in my brain are always on hyperdrive.  I am always processing the things I should be doing and at the same time missing opportunities left and right.  I am training myself to be different...I am just in a 'cycle' right now of overthinking and making mountains out of molehills.

Latest challenges:
  • I am not very loving to either of my parents.  Sure I do for my mom all the time.  Sometime as many as 3 appts. in a week, but usually just one.  I dread it and then cannot wait to get away after the fact.  This is so unGodly.  I have to pray my way through the whole visit to be nice.  I want to be loving and enjoy my time with her.  In my defense, my mother is...challenging.  She is VERY critical of me and seems to take every opportunity to point out anything she doesn't like about me.  It can be as simple as Erik's haircut or as emotional as "You don't visit enough."  I love my momma.  I want to treasure our relationship and enjoy our time together.  My dad is going through an emotional time right now.  He had an old girlfriend come back into his life, turn that life upside down and now is slowly breaking up with him.  The best I can do is pray and I have been.  I just don't want to be involved.  These two relationships make me feel cold and selfish and yet I KNOW that being around my family of origin( How do you like that psychology term?) is detrimental to my own family and me.  Please God, heal me through my relationships with my own children.  Please God, allow me to break the chain of dysfunction...or at least loosen it.
  • My job is frustrating me right now.  We are in the middle of a big change up that will mean more hours which is awesome.  It will also mean more training which means working with someone else which means juggling my schedule more.  It isn't as though I am crazy busy all the time...but I am already scheduling around 7-8 different people's schedules and it is just tiring.  The good news is that my job is fairly simple, extremely flexible and Yeah!, about to earn me more hours.  It will only be crazy for a week or so.  (The same week my mom has three doctor appointments.)
  • Somehow, in the midst of those challenges...I feel compelled to be making a huge difference in the world.  We had a speaker at church last night who was talking about reaching out to schools in their community.  They went to a school and asked for their worst problem children and started a program to help them as an entire church project.  I am blown away and fired up.  Man I want that!  To make a difference in the lives of others.  I want to help someone who doesn't have any hope.  I want to let some kid with nothing but problems know that there is hope in the world.  I want to have a role in a ministry that makes a difference.
So, today as I plan a Girl Scout Easter party(to give the leader a tiny break), reflect on how to help one of the girls' friends who can't seem to 'get' math, make plans for the weekend to show love to my family, get all upcoming 'stuff' on my calendar, await a phone call to possibly help a friend with childcare arrangements, try to get curriculum sorted through and sold, and maybe a load of laudry or two...I wonder exactly how I can fit in an amazing ministry while pondering if maybe I am, in fact, already right smack in the middle of one.  One appropriately labeled, LIFE.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Frappe'

I wish I could get McDonald's to sponsor this post.  They prolly don't do that stuff.  I will just focus on the good works they do through Ronald McDonald houses and not worry over it.  I have a bit of an obsession over something.  Not too long ago (translation, could have been last summer or 3 years ago), Mickey D's had a Friday promotion...Free Frappe' Friday.  I thought they were crazy as I visited each Friday with my children to get these wonderful free samples for my children and I.  That is usually all we got since I don't love spending money.  They were sooooo good that we made it a Friday tradition.  I felt bad for all the money MD's was losin' on us.  However, now...they are making it back.  I am hooked on the caramel frappe'.  It is the most delicious thing ever.  I would choose it over any other sugar indulgence.  AND at $2.29 for a small, it is indulgent in price as well.

It started as a, "Ha, ha McDonald's...I'm enjoying your free samples!!".  It has now progressed into, "Perhaps I should NOT research how many calories one of these bad boys contains."  I just finished one off and it was so good.  I also had one yesterday.  I am probably going to have to start some major only once every two weeks or something.  It is bad, y'all.  Don't try one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time May Change Me...

...but I can't change time.  Oh my stars, I am learning to prioritize.  Because you know what, you can't do it all.  I am juggling more schedules than Carter's got pills.  Seems like, during my down time, I sort of sit stunned and paralyzed...surely I have something to do today?  No, a free day?  I guess I'll just do a couple loads of laundry and watch Bones.  4 hours later realizing I just wasted time that I should have been using to complete a, b or c.  In addition to all of my responsibilities, I am working as much recreation in with my family as I possibly can.  Because our budget is so challenging, I spend alot of time planning cheap/free activities that align themselves with our interests.  It keeps our calendar full, but it also gives us time, fun and memory building.  AND, only occasionally...a DUD activity.

The end result of all this scheduling...our family is busy when we are busy and delightfully CHILL when we are not.  Somewhere in the midst of that we find that crazy little thing called...balance.

These are our wild and crazy years.  Three kids with schedules, 2 parents with schedules, Grandparents that we are honored and delighted to help...but this too shall pass.  One day when I am kicked back in my rocking chair at the nursing home, I want to savor a busy life filled with family.  That is probably around the same time I finally get around to watching 24  I just hope it ends better than LOST.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We have an unusual Sunday School class.  It is a blend of middle schoolers, high schoolers and the parents of those aged kids.  It makes for a very intimidating class, but we follow our fearless leader.  The goal is to be more intentional about our faith as a family.  It is named D6 after Deuteronomy 6 which commands us as parents to teach our children about God as we go along in our day to day activites.  This class is a stretch for me in every way.  It puts our family 'out there' in a way that I am not accustomed to.  I can confess my faults all day long...but I feel very vulnerable as a family.   It forces us to hold our habits up and inspect them and see where we are doing okay and where we need to improve.  It allows us to glean some hints and tips from other families.  It often puts us on the spot, if not in class, then at least face to face with our teens outside of class.  It makes me feel broken and blessed all at the same time.  It is a model for accountability, which is scary.  It is an ocassion to un-mask, YIKES!  I know it is a really good thing and I love it...but it also makes me cringe, freak out a bit, and want to hide my head under the covers.  I can't even imagine what it's like for the people who are quiet and private.

Being REAL??  Not just around family...the reason you can be that person with your family is that you all love each other in an unconditional way AND, it is unavoidable. The good, bad and the ugly all come out.   I so want that in our church family...I want that in everyone's church family.  I want that as we minister to people who aren't even in a church.  But am I ready for it?  Can I handle the faults that I don't know about?  The ones that are different from my own?  Can I be non-judgemental and loving?  Sometimes REAL without grace and mercy from the other side doesn't end well.  I really do look forward to where this class (this is the second class like this) will take us and what it will teach us about our family.    I truly believe that we can only be made perfect when we have reached the broken place where we surrender to God.  I also truly believe that in order for God to be glorified in that healing process, we have to share our broken places with one another.  It's just...well...I feel alot more broken than most people, especially church going folk...I feel like I have alot of risk in admitting the exact nature of my maybe...someone else...could go first??  Maybe if someone else can put it all out there, well then maybe I'd be in good company.  I feel like I have already shared so many of my broken spots already...and most of that confessin' did not make life any easier.  ( :  In fact, for a while, it was a nice little stash of ammo for a fun few.  God worked it all out for good though and he will again.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


  • Erik and I are doing some 'emotional budgeting'.  This means we are purposefully making time for one another and also our kids.  We are looking to be more intentional with our time.  This is a very new concept for us...we are used to just vegging in front of the tube during all 'free' time.
  • We are also going to try regular budgeting.  We've done the whole Dave Ramsey plan.  It was awesome and it totally worked.  Now we don't do it anymore.  We can't really decide why we stopped, but we are ready to try try again.
  • I have to get really serious about decluttering.  My not quite finished decluttering projects are all over the place.  Soon, I need to be selling some curriculum and giving The Salvation Army some serious boxage.
  • I must get back on track with my 'life plan' for weight loss.  I refuse to call it a diet because it is supposed to be forever.  I have gained a very tiny amount of weight back...not part of the plan.  Sure it is only a small amount (4lbs) BUT it is 4 lbs in the wrong direction.  Easter candy, specifically
    is sabotaging me.  That is totally un-Christlike, Dove!
  • I have come home twice this week and taken a nap because I was up too late.  This is not the kind of time management skills I am looking to develop.
I need to get off of here and work on some positive changes.  The non-positive changes are not serving me well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Cave

I like to think that I am very extraverted because I am loud and love to talk, visit and socialize.  However, in the past 16 years but mostly since having children , I am very in tune with my inner introvert.  After a fun filled week of SPRING BREAK, today I just want to be in my cave, my alone cone if you will. 

Tomorrow, there is much required of me...lots of stuff for me to do all day long.  Today though, the calendar is clear and so far I have had a small nap, talked with hubs on the phone...warned him not to expect me to accomplish much today, and now I am blogging.  That is probably as social as I'm gonna get.

The cat and I shall have a cave day...oops, she is already into her seventh nap of the day and it doesn't seem to include me.  Whatever.  The rain outside my window encourages me to stay on the path of the cave.  ( :

Have a wonderful Monday...hopefully cave-alicious.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

Ah yes, ye old buyer's remorse.  The regret of making a purchase.  The price may be high or low, the remorse usually varies in intensity according to that price.  However, today I am not feeling buyer's remorse.  Not one little bit.  You see, we purchased Netflix quite some time ago.  We enjoyed it and tried to be quick about watching our DVD and getting it back in the mail for the next one to come along.  We watched unlimited TV shows and movies online as well.  At $9 a month, it is a great value.  Now we have recently become XBOX LIVE subscribers.  This coupled with Netflix allows us to watch any instant play movies, TV shows or documentaries.  We are on cloud nine.  We love watching movies unlimitedly.  It is awesome.

So many things we have purchased over the years that have caused us buyer's remorse:
  • A brand new car-it had no pick-up and was so cheaply made in comparison to the car we traded.
  • A water softener.  What a pain in the butt.  We were so high pressured sold that we felt like scum of the earth if we did not soften our water.  We would be fools to use 10X the soap we were supposed to and not enjoy the added perk of a water filtration system. ( POPPYCOCK!!)  So glad to move away from that waste o'money and fifty pound bags of potassium that we had to stay stocked up on.(You may have one and love it, if so, I am very happy you feel that way.)
  • Nice beautiful almost white carpet...I wish I could blame all of the stains on children, but it was already stained beyond belief before the first child was born.
  • SLOW LEARNERS...we later bought an off-white loveseat. 
  • A very expensive cherry dining room set...before children but we had 2 cats.  Day two involved a kitty wrestling match and several scratches on that smooth tabletop.
Oh, there are so many more I could mention.  ( :  Instead I am choosing to go enjoy the awesomeness of xbox live + netflix.  Not to mention the total lack of buyer's remorse.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Just for today...

  • I will let it go that my mom does not follow doctor instructions and remind myself that it is HER body, her life and her decision.
  • I will enjoy my children instead of acting as though every decision they make will make or break the rest of their life.
  • I will accept the fact that housework is totally postpone-able.
  • I will allow myself to stuff some emotions, stuff 'em way down instead of being a jumble of emotions all the time.  I can feel emotions without letting them take over only if I just stuff 'em every once in a while when they are too numerous.
  • I will choose is a choice.
  • I will choose is a choice.
  • I will choose is a choice.  The next decade will be determined by how I treat my body this decade.
  • I will talk to God when I have a problem.  I will talk to Him first.  He has the best answers and He is the only one who can really do anything about, well, anything.
Have a TERRIFIC Tuesday!! 

If you are a sandwich generation caretaker??  My hat is off to you, and I am reminded daily to pray for you.  We have a tough calling and with the grace of God, we will show love in the place of pinching a head off.