Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Little Pre-Thanksgiving Laugh

I know this commercial has been around for a while, but it still makes me laugh. Especially as I remember celebrating an early Thanksgiving at the beginning of the month with my side of the family and we ended up with a 36 pound (!) turkey a friend of the family had raised. It was HUGE and if raw poultry wasn't still grossing me out so much, I would have taken a picture of Abigail next to the gobbler as it was bigger than her.

Of course, the Thanksgiving that my mom chased one of my sister's around the kitchen with a turkey neck still ranks as the most memorable for me.

No, I don't have a strange sense of humor, why do you ask?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Jesus by Todd Agnew

A song I recently heard (yes, I do need to turn on the radio more) that gripped me. There is one word in the song that originally caught me off guard and could be offensive.

My Jesus. Precious Jesus.

There are so many days I reflect the polar opposite of who You are.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

TWO New Family Members This Year?

Our little family just keeps on growing and in unexpected ways.  No, we didn't find out we're suddenly expecting twins.  Would it offend you if I added a sigh of relief after that one?

We've sponsored a new child through Compassion International.  A six year old boy from Guatemala.  And we are so happy to have him as part of us now!
I say it happened unexpectedly because we had other intentions for the monthly sponsorship money.  Our own intentions, like lessen the strain on our monthly income since Richie's salary has been reduced like so many others during the current economic situation.  So nothing extravagant, but God still had other plans.

I pulled into the parking lot to cancel life insurance policies we had on the boys and as I opened my car door, God began to speak.  He basically told me that the monthly payment we were making on the life insurance should be used to bring LIFE to another child right now.  

And now we have a new child in the family.  Caleb helped choose which child should receive our sponsorship. Honestly, I was leaning in a different direction, but I want our kids to have a connection with our Compassion child(ren), so I left it mostly up to him.  It has been amazing how this child that we will likely never meet has already worked his way into our hearts! 

Of course, the minute I see any of the pictures of the many children waiting to be sponsored automatically grabs my heart.  I've been crying over these children and those like them since I was a child and saw my first Sally Struthers commercial.  (Do you remember those?  I would seriously bawl.)  My heart breaks for the littlest of these.  I remember when I've traveled overseas and the conditions the "less thans" of this world live.  The dirt, the stench, the poverty.  The loss of hope.  The need for Love. 

So, I find it a privilege that God would lead us to this little one and use us in his life.  He may not be in my home or within arm's reach, but my prayers and God are never far from him.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'd Rather Have a Tooth Pulled

If you ever hear me say that, you'll know it is a serious, serious matter.  Either that or I'm in serious need of having some sense knocked into me.  Let the Spirit lead you.

After having a year and a half of issues with a tooth, it was extracted today.  Two days after I had oral surgery to determine the source of my trouble.  Until today, there were no answers as to why I was experiencing pain, infection, and bone loss.

When the tooth was removed, perforations in the tooth that were never sealed from a root canal were discovered and determined to be the root of the problem.  Pun totally intended.

As the pain medication and numbing agents wear off and I realize I have another two hours before I can take anything, I'm developing a new life strategy.  Having a tooth pulled could be my new motivator.  My new measurement.

For example, would I rather sit in traffic for an hour or have a tooth pulled?  

Or...would I rather spend the night with someone throwing up all over me or have a tooth pulled?

Discover my shirt is inside out after speaking in public or have a tooth pulled?

Puts a whole new perspective on things.  Gotta clean out a freezer that broke while we were on vacation?  No problem.  Match up 40 pairs of almost-identical-but-not-quite socks?  Piece of cake.     

So I'll choose to focus on that instead of the fact that I cannot have the one thing I was looking forward to today (outside of the normal hugging my kids responses) because I'm not allowed to drink through a straw for 24 hours.  

A milkshake, or five, would've made this so much better. 


Saturday, September 18, 2010

For God So Loved The World

I was struck once again this week by the unfathomable love of God for His creation called mankind.

We are studying ancient history this year in our homeschool and have been using the Bible as one of our primary history books.  I really have no words to adequately describe how awesome this has been!

One of the topics we covered this week was the story of Cain and Abel. As we read and discussed this passage (Genesis 4:1-24), there were a few things I had never really paid attention to before.  BUT there was one thing specifically that stood out from the rest for me and that was God's love for Cain.

The condition of Cain's heart was just plain yucky.  He did not have the right attitude when bringing an offering to God.  He is unrepentant and angry when God is not pleased with his offering and then decides to exact revenge for this upon his own brother, Abel, by committing the first murder in our world's history.  And it doesn't stop there.  He does not confess to his sin when God gives him the opportunity and he does not repent for taking his brother's life.

As God delivers Cain's punishment, Cain whines and is fearful that someone will kill him because he is now a "fugitive and vagabond on the earth."  And this is where the love of God completely blows my natural mind.  God marks him so that none will kill him.  

The mark wasn't to let others know of his sin.  God placed the mark there to protect Cain.

He loved Cain, an unrepentant sinner, so much that he still offered protection for him.  What is this uncomparable love?   

This Love is what saved me.  This Love is what changed my life.  Bringing a broken woman peace and joy.

This Love, this is what I hope to reflect.  What I hope to carry and deliver.  The legacy I want to leave behind.     


Sunday, September 12, 2010

God Doesn't Serve Leftovers

Open your mouth and taste,
open your eyes and see how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.
                    Psalm 43:8-9 The Message
My thoughts are on how each time I'm worshipping my Heavenly Father, it's different.  The experience is never quite the same.  Always an original recipe.

Today I tasted His sweetness.  The sweetness that leaves me satisified yet longing for another heaping spoonful.  Call me a glutton, I want more.

I saw His beauty.  The beauty that brings tears to my eyes.  The beauty that speaks of His glory.  His majesty.  His holiness. 

I am so thankful that I am one of His.  That all five of my senses can experience His goodness.  And that He is always generous in serving His portions.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Heart Is Smiling

There are homeschooling days when I wonder if we can really do it.  Days of discouragement and frustration.  Even when I know it's best for our family.  That it's what God has called us to do.  There are still those days.

Today, thankfully, was not one of them.  And I needed to write down what my boy said before I forgot, so on those days I can look back and remember.  Or maybe even to remind him in the futture.

We were discussing timelines and historical dating for history today and I had him make a timeline of his life.  We were sharing events that he might want to put on his timeline and I mentioned the date when he began homeschooling.  He heartily agreed and said, "Yes, one of the best things that has ever happened in my life."  My heart began to smile.  

Later as he was filling in the actual timeline, he was brainstorming what to write under the date and said,"The day my future changed for good."  And outside of the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, it probably was that kind of a day.    

I cannot explain how much it means to hear him acknowledge the value of this path we're on.  That he enjoys it and is happy. 

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say my heart is beaming.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Sneak Peek

Because the sun is shining... 

Because the morning air is crisp...

Because God is the author of life...

Because you're never supposed to start a sentence with the word because...

Because I won't be observing labor day until some time in January...

I thought I'd take a moment and introduce you to the one we'll be welcoming this winter... 

He has a hand in his mouth in this picture.

This is our Titus Josiah!

We look forward to the day when we get to meet you face to face, precious one.  Our hearts are already full of love for you.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Stinky Week At Our House

No, literally a stinky week at our house.  The olfactory system has been getting quite the workout around here recently.

First, my house smells like onions.  It's what happens when a large mass of onions are diced up in order to be dehydrated.  And let me tell ya, my pregnant nose and stomach really do not like the smell of a large mass of diced onions.

The outside of our home smells like onions, too.  We put the dehydrator on the front porch so the heat doesn't affect our kitchen and you can actually smell onions in the backyard.  Lovely.

As a side note, I also cook with my crock pot on the front porch in the summer to avoid the extra heat in the kitchen. It's a great! Especially when you do not have an air conditioner near your kitchen.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if we smell like onions.  Would someone we know tell us?  But then again, how do you begin THAT conversation?  Maybe they just thought we had a loaded onion omelette for breakfast.  Or an onion smoothie perhaps.

I think I just almost made myself gag on the onion smoothie thing.  Sorry.

Now the good news bedroom does NOT smell like onions. 

The bad news is that Abigail dumped strawberry flavored fish oil on the carpet in our bedroom.  

Wanna guess what our room smells like now?  Why do I feel like I'm the only one stuff like this happens to sometimes?  Anyway, it has been our hope to replace the flooring in our room some time soon (well, at least since a flooring guy we know told us the carpet would be bare soon), but until we can scrounge up gather that money, I need some good ideas on how to get the smell of fish oil out of carpet. 

Anyone have a good solution?  I would be ever so grateful.


Friday, September 3, 2010

From Their Mouths

The boys have said a few things in the last week about the new baby, pregnancy, etc. that I want to jot down before I forget...
Last Friday morning I was explaining to Samuel that we'd be going to see pictures of the new baby.  I reminded him of when we went to see Abigail's ultrasound and saw the baby's hands and feet and he was super excited.  Then he told me that he wanted a boy baby, that we needed a boy baby.

When I asked him why, he said we already had a girl baby, so we needed a boy baby.  I told him that I had two boy babies - a Caleb boy baby and a Samuel boy baby.  He started laughing very hard and then reminded his silly mommy that he and Caleb were not babies.

No, Samuel dear, you'll always be my baby.
In the ultrasound room both boys cheered when they heard we were having a boy.  I didn't know Caleb had a preference either way until then.

That night he shared with me that God had answered (in the affirmative) one of his prayers.  Apparently he had been praying that we would have a boy.
Richie asked both of the boys what they thought we should name baby boy.  

Samuel:  Diego - yes, as in everybody's favorite animal rescue hero
Caleb: John - because he decided he liked that better than his name

Which leads me to something interesting I've watched with Caleb through each of my pregnancies.  He tests out new names.  In Kindergarten, he decided to change his name to Zach.  He was in public school then and thankfully had a wonderful teacher who handled it really well when one of her students kept writing a different name on his papers.  It went on for several weeks and then just kind of went away.

During Abigail's pregnancy, he wanted to be called Jeb.  It didn't last nearly as long.  So I guess now he's outgrown the phase of "trying on" names and can just verbalize that he thinks he likes a different name more.
Caleb started telling me that there should be 10 kids in the family.  When my eyeballs came out of my head and threatened to attack him he brought the number down to six.  He has also informed me that I should be pregnant by July next year.  My eyeballs restrained themselves from inflicting bodily harm on the child, but they wanted to, I just know it.  And Samuel keeps telling me that we should have more babies, too.  
The boys are so sweet.  Talking to the baby, hugging my belly.  Caleb gets really concerned if I'm doing something he thinks might hurt the baby or me.  I love being able to see this side of them!  Gives me great hope for their future wives. *smile*  I also pray its the beginning of beautiful and lasting sibling relationships.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slap In The Face(book)

I realized about an hour ago that neither of my phones rang today.  Isn't that weird?  Not even a person trying to sell insurance or cheap medications to any person over 65 in our home.  It was actually pretty nice since I would guess 90% of our calls are solicitors.  

That really has nothing to do with this post, but it did get me to thinking about communication.  Which got me thinking about an encounter I had a few months ago.

So before I begin, let me try to make one thing clear...I don't think it's wrong for you to be on Facebook, but it's wrong for me.  As I've shared some of my feelings about it (see 10 reasons here), I feel I may be a little misunderstood.  Please don't feel like you must give me all the reasons you are on Facebook.  I'm not judging you based on my personal opinions, preferences, whatever.  M'kay?  Please believe me!  And put that list away, please. *wink*

A lot of it boils down to self protection and that of my family.  I don't think I can handle the self discipline, the temptation.  I still feel out of it sometimes, friends laughing over a shared story and I have no clue what they're talking about.  I have to be okay with that and I pretty much am. 

At times I've wondered if I can still be relevant in today's world without joining Facebook though.  And one Sunday morning in church had me questioning where I stood more than any other time.

I was sitting next to a pretty young woman I had never met.  Probably feeling a little self conscious because she was also dressed very stylish and well, I'm usually not.  Anyway, I was really pleased when we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves before the message that day was given.

As we began sharing a little about ourselves, I thought maybe I had made a new friend for the first time during one of those "meet and greets".  She suggested getting our children together to play and grabbed her purse to write down my information.  In the midst of this, she asked if I was on Facebook?

I gently smiled and said, "No."  And that's when it all came to a crashing halt.  

My new friend informed me, "That's too bad.  It's how I keep up with everybody and get to know them. I schedule all our playdates that way too."  She gave a little shrug to say sorry and she pretty much had nothing else to say to me.  I told her it was nice meeting her and then sat there a little bewildered.

Was I missing it here?  Missing potential friendships.  Missing ministry opportunities.  Was I wrong not to be on Facebook?  I began to question God about my decision.

Then I had to laugh inside.  A sad laugh, but a laugh nonetheless.  What have we come to if Facebook is the only way we communicate with one another?  The only way we can be "friends"?  It's one of my biggest issues with social networking for goodness sake. 

I admit I felt a little rejected at first also, then I had to laugh at that too.  You know what, I just might be worth the extra "effort" to get to know without Facebook being involved.  

If God can remain relevant in this digital world, then so can I.  At least I know I'm in good company. *smile* 

Once again I have to say, "No thanks, Facebook. I'm not interested in what you have to offer. I need more."   


On My Nightstand - September

In hopes of being a little more accountable to actually finishing a book and pursuing growth in various areas of my life, I thought posting a few titles I want to get through this month might help me.  

1.  Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper - I'm going to try (once again) for a natural childbirth.  I want to experience it at least once and this could be my last opportunity.  I'm sure I'll talk about this more at some point.

2.  Cleaning Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin - I have got to find a better way of keeping our house clean.  I want our home to be a peaceful retreat for my family, not the dust bunnies.  I am hoping this book gives me a few new ideas on how to better manage it all. 

3.  Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson - I've been wanting to read this book for a couple years now, so I'm really excited.  I love being a mother to my wonderful children and I could use some fresh inspiration and insight in my role.

4.  Language Wars by Ruth Beechick - I always enjoy her writing.  It helps keep me focused on our homeschooling journey and desiring the best for my children's education.

And well, the first and last books I started this past month, so I'm a little over halfway through both.  Since I make up the rules, I guess that's not cheating. *smile*


Saturday, August 28, 2010

And The Ultrasound Says...

That Abigail and I are outnumbered 2 to 1 now!

We're having a boy!

I'm hoping to sit down some time this weekend and write a little bit more, but I've made quite a to do list today (trying to get a bunch of cooking/baking done so I don't have to do it for a couple days) and need to get busy.

The baby is doing very well and looks great!  If I can get everything to cooperate, I'll share the pictures soon.  Thanks for all your prayers and love!


Thursday, August 26, 2010


I was working on a blog entry and the computer keeps freezing on me, so I just decided to write the thoughts swimming around my head.  Lucky reader, you...
My kitchen is sticky.  I'm sticky.  The kids are sticky.  And if we had a dog, it would be sticky too!  We've been canning peaches and I can hear my crocs (they help my feet and back while canning) peeling off the floor with every step I take.  I feel like I have to keep moving or I might get stuck.  

I think there's a spiritual application there.
Tomorrow (Friday!) we will find out if the little one I'm carrying is a boy or girl.  If the baby decides to cooperate that is.  Caleb is the only one we decided not to find out with and he made sure we couldn't change our minds.  He didn't reveal himself during the two ultrasounds I had with him.  
I'll be sharing the news tomorrow, so check some time in the evening if your curious. 
After a month long summer break, we started our "new" school year four weeks ago with two subjects and have added a "subject" a week since then.  It has worked out really well for us and given me time to work through any kinks (read: learning how to keep the two little ones occupied during that time) we encounter.

We pretty much homeschool year round for those of you who didn't know.  And no, it's not as bad as it sounds!  For any of us. *grin* 

I am so excited about the year we have planned, I think it's going to be fun and Caleb seems to be enjoying himself so far.  I saved history - his favorite- for last.  We'll be in full swing Labor Day week.  Then I'll start adding more with Samuel.  I eventually hope to have a set of activities to rotate with Abigail also.  So I figure by November we'll be in a sure groove.  Which will give us 1 1/2 months before the Christmas holidays and the baby arriving.     Then it will be time to readjust. *smile*
Samuel came inside today and said, "The potatoes are biting me."  Turns out the mosquitoes were biting him. *grin* 

I love when Samuel announces to me that it is morning.  He always says, "It's sun time, Mommy."  The rule is that he can't get out of bed until the sun is up.  Once he has a better grasp on numbers we'll be changing that a bit...
Abigail has been weaned for a week and half now.  I'm not sure if it's been harder on me or her.  She typically asks to nurse about twice a day still.  We both miss it, but I really felt like my body needed to stop.  I sometimes wonder if her lower birth weight (5 lb. 15 oz.) was due in part to my nursing Samuel through my pregnancy with her.  I'm glad my sweet girl still likes to snuggle and hug a lot or I would be really sad!
Richie surprised me for my birthday by getting an old bike someone had given us fixed.  I haven't gotten on it yet because I'm a little scared I'll hurt myself or the baby, but I'm super excited.  We live in a great neighborhood for it. 

We're still trying to work on the house as we can in hopes of evetually moving.  We've got a long way to go, especially when we keep discovering things like rotten floor beams.  *grimace*  I just keep reminding myself that God is in control.  And that is a really good thing!

So as I head off to bed tonight, that's the thought I rest in.   


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Confessions

  • I turned 33 yesterday. 
  • I'm still waiting to feel like a grown up.
  • Abigail has been completely weaned for a week now.  After 4 years and 4 months of nursing someone it feels really good.  I'm going to enjoy these next four months of freedom. *sigh*
  • When Abigail was born, I tandem nursed her and Samuel for about 10 months.  Something I don't ever really care to do again.  Unless I had twins, of course.
  • I can finally eat peanut butter again during this pregnancy.  I'm glad to add it back to my list since I'm still having a hard time with food most days. 
  • I enjoy peanut butter the way most women like chocolate.        
  • My husband learned how to can this weekend.  His first conquest?  Fourteen quarts of green beans.  Go honey!
  • I found a ticket stub to a New Kids on the Block concert while I was cleaning out all my junk prized possessions. I think my eyes teared up when they rode motorcycles in the street before the concert - so close, yet so far away. *cringe*
  • In middle school, some friends and I thought we would come up with a female equivalent to NKOTB. The name of the band was Sweet Street Peace Posse. Yeah, I don't know.
  • I have now completely humiliated myself.  Must find rock to hide under...
Hope you're enjoying your Sunday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ode To Slurpees

With this pregnancy I haven't had any real cravings.  Something that I want a lot of all the time.  A certain food might sound good one day and terrible the next.  But one thing always has my interest...


I might even call it my beverage of choice. 

I live recklessly, you don't have to tell me. 

When I worked outside of the home, I might have even been known to stop and get a slurpee before I went into my office.  Some people like coffee, but give me a slurpee any day. 

I have always joked that if I was ridiculously wealthy that would be my one eccentric buy.  A slurpee machine in my house.  A good slurpee can solve just about anything. 

And I have been craving them.  We've only had them twice this summer, so I've been really good.  But I've wanted them a whole lot more than that! *grin*  I just like to ignore the fact that they are full of things I don't really want in our bodies...   

So in honor of a 7-11 moving back into our town and making slurpees more accessible in my life...I've prepared a small song for you.   

I Love Slurpees
(Sung to the tune of Jesus Loves The Little Children)

I love all the little slurpees,
All the slurpees in the world,
Red, purple, green, and blue,
Mix the flavors or it keep it pure,
I love all the slurpees in the world.


P.S.  For the record, I do not believe all slurpees are created equal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Once in a while someone asks me if I miss the job I left to stay at home with my kids.  And the answer for the most part is an honest no.  I would not give up the opportunity to be with my precious babies to pursue what was a successful career.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I've only got this one season in life with my children and this is what God has called me to do in it.

I mean sure, there are times when I get to the end of a day and feel like I have nothing to show for the work I did.  It would be nice to finish something and have it stay that way.  Like a clean room.  Or even a clean child. *wry grin*  But even then I try not to get frustrated, because I know one day I will miss having sticky fingers grab my face to give me wet kisses.

So it's very rare that I feel a pang for that woman who used to wear business suits every day.  My pajamas are way more comfy anyway.

I've been cleaning out our "schoolroom" that has really served as a dump storage space more than anything else so that we can actually do things with less risk of little ones interfering with school work.  More square footage is always a plus.  It has been a lot of work, but has been so incredibly freeing -which is a great representation of what God has been doing spiritually for me also.  As my home is being physically restored, so is my soul. 
One day as I was cleaning, I came across some old things from my working life.  Certificates and plaques, old training materials, resumes, and I even dug out some old notebooks that had been tucked away in a deep pocket in a bag I used to carry.  

And that's when I began trying to reconcile the working woman that was with this stay at home mommy.    Who was that girl? 

I found myself wanting to find someone and tell them that I used to be somebody.  Somebody who managed six figure budgets.  Somebody who ran and coordinated a large Dept. of Justice initiative.  Somebody who had the trust of local, state, and federal representatives and other prominent figures in the community.  Somebody who could hold a thought and pee for longer than a minute.

Please don't get me wrong.  I think being a stay at home mom, homemaker (with or without children), or whatever other title you prefer is one of the noblest of professions.  I also happen to think it is one of the most difficult -on many different levels.  And I am having a hard time even confessing these thoughts I was having.

As I began to lose perspective and struggle with these thoughts, God in His loving kindness intervened.  He took me by the shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said, "You are somebody.  I say so."  I could feel his breath blowing on me, freeing me and giving me life.  Reaching deeper than I am probably even aware at this time.

Reestablishing my identity.  Finding comfort in who I am.  And also in Who I am, for I am in Him.  Things I've known moving from my head into my heart. 

Somebody, it is who I am.  And it's who you are too.

He said so.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

These Are The Days Of My Life

We've been busy.  Crazy busy.  Working on the house, trying to maintain the garden and its harvest, organizing our "schoolroom", wrangling kids, hugging get the point.  And in the midst of it, I've been busy being pregnant and planning the start of our new school year. 

So you'll probably be seeing quite a bit of talk from me about pregnancy, being mommy, and homeschooling over the next month or so.   'Cause really, these are the things that make up the days of my life.  And I'd be willing to guess the drama of each could give any old soap opera a run for its money any given day. *smile*


Monday, August 16, 2010

Name Game

Or more aptly named More Than You Wanted To Know About Names In My Life.

As we anticipate the arrival of our next little one, names (imagine that) are on my mind.  Or at least I'm thinking about names in our family.  Waiting for God to reveal His chosen name for this child.  And for some reason I'm a little impatient right now.

Perhaps because it would reveal the gender of this child.  Maybe because we see the direct connection between the meaning of names and the personalities of our children.  

As we wait, here are some of things that have crossed my mind as I've thought about names.  

  • The names of my children have gained one letter in length in succession.  5, 6, and 7...will child number four's name be eight letters long?
  • There were 6 children in my family growing up.  All of our names start with the letter "J".
  • My first name is Jo and my middle name is Ann.  I was named after my father, Joseph Anthony.
  • I love the name Jo, but have gone by Jo Ann for so long it almost seems foreign to try to go by it now.  Not to mention the fact that when I was in fifth grade I asked to go by "Jo" one day and the teacher made fun of it all day long.
  • All of our children's names -first and middle- can be found in the Old Testament up to this point.  Not really on purpose, it's just the way it's happened. 
  • My Puerto Rican grandmother's name is Jenny and my Anglo-Saxon grandmother's name is Juanita.  That has always cracked me up.
Now that I've completely bored you, do you have anything interesting about names in your family?


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Of Pearly Whites and Parenting

We forgot to have the kids brush their teeth tonight.  Nobody remembered as we were quickly ushering them into bed at 9:00 pm after baths from the long (but fun) day. 

Well, no one remembered until 10:00 pm when the boys were still awake and realized their teeth had been neglected.  I'm not sure I've seen them so enthusiatic about brushing their teeth since we made the rule that whomever comes back with a no cavity report from the dentist gets to pick something at the dollar store. 

I could feel guilty, but I've decided I'm not going there.  I'm thinking that if that is the biggest parenting "mistake" I made today, then we're not doing too bad.  

It's part of a new stand I'm taking against common maladies of the human mother, this one being mommy guilt.  Its nasty hooks and traps willing to ensnare any compliant mother.  After careful thought and consideration, I've come to the conclusion that I'm really not that into it and it needs to go.  I realize that mommy guilt will likely try to bare its nasty teeth -he nevers brushes- for as long as I'm a mother (read: forever), but whatever.

Two words...buh-bye. 


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Morning Glory

I'm what you might call a conditional morning person.  I like to wake up slowly, lie in bed quietly and talk to the Lord.  Prepare myself for whatever I might face this new day.  Get up and soak in the stillness of the house.  Look out the window or even sit outside and watch the world awaken.    

The odds are typically not in favor for me to enjoy this type of morning.  So on the rare chance I do get to have one like this, I feel like I have received a special gift.  A love note straight from God. 

A quiet morning soothes me. Refreshes me.  Reminds me once again that His mercies are new for me this day. 

I look around and the day sparkles.  The newness of the day shines forth. 

As the sun reveals its face, God's promises seem so close to me.  Everywhere I look promise and hope are being freely offered.  Reaching out to me.  Inviting me.

And I know that He loves me.  No matter what the day might bring, His goodness is always all around me.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;  And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Psalm 103:1

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birth Order Laughs

One of my sisters sent this in an e-mail to me a year and a half ago and it still makes my mommy self chuckle.  I have no idea where it originated.  It's fun with a touch of truth.


1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, Baby Zoo, Baby Movies and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaners.
_____________________________ _________________________
Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children
Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You Might Be A Mommy If...

your home is frequented by visits from two invisible children.  I have not had the chance to personally meet them, but my children are apparently on a first name basis with them. 

They go by the names of Not me and I don't know

If you happen to see them, please let them know that there are a few things I'd really like to discuss with them. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'll Protect You

My mom forwarded the following devotional to me a couple of days ago and it touched something deep in my heart.  I desire to be this type of parent.  I want my children to know that I am their champion.  I am on their side.

Just like our Daddy God is always with us and for us.  He is our banner. 

I'll Protect You - taken from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. JOSHUA 1:9
One day during Rebecca's first year of junior high, she came home from school with an unusually unhappy look on her face. Some boy had been making ugly remarks about her figure (or more precisely, her lack of one).

"What's this guy's name?" I inquired. She told me what it was. "What's his phone number?" I asked. "Sounds like we need to have a little man-to-man chat."

When the boy's father answered the phone, I told him I needed to talk to his son. I said I wasn't going to be mean, but he had been making derogatory comments about my daughter and I wanted to tell him that such comments are inappropriate.

"Okay, here he is." (I could just imagine the look on this young man's face as the phone receiver came his direction.) "Hullo?" he said in that teenage monotone. "Hello, I'm Mr. Rainey. Rebecca's dad. From school. She came home today telling me about some things you said about her body, and I just wanted you to know I don't appreciate it. This is not the way to treat a young lady, and I'd like you to respect her dignity enough to stop teasing her about the way she looks. You understand?"

That was it. Didn't take long. I remember it took some courage to make the call, but I just remember Rebecca standing there beaming. And though I'd like to think it made a statement to the young man on the other end of the line, I know for a fact it made a statement to my daughter.

She saw the way a man is supposed to protect a woman, the way a dad is supposed to protect his little girl. How will they know if they don't see us doing it?

And while this portrays a father and daughter, God still used it to speak to my heart about my relationship as a mother to my sons and daughter. Ways as a mother that I can protect them and bring life and light when life has bruised them.

Lord, thank You for the children You have brought into my life.  Continue to change me to be the parent you desire for me to be.  Help me be aware of the situations in their lives where they need encouragement and someone to speak Truth over them.  I ask for an increase in wisdom to meet each of their unique needs.  Thank You for being our Jehovah Nissi.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Online...I Think

I thought about channeling a little Willie Nelson and singing you a little tune I like to call Online Again, but then I'd have to braid my hair and that would require a little more effort than I'm willing to give right now.

Come on, I am incubating a person here.

Now that you know you've been saved from my budding career as a parodist (at least temporarily), you might be disturbed to know that I now have a working computer back in my hands. *insert creepy organ music here*

Through a family friend, God has blessed me with a cute, little laptop and now I can get back at the ol' blog.  I love hand-me-downs. *smile* I mention that it is small, because it tends to strain my eyes rather quickly and that will limit the amount of time I spend online.  It might also explain why you might think I'm looking at you funny the next time I see you, please don't be offended just blame burnt retinas. 

Unfortunately, pictures will still be extremely limited.  The CD drive is broken and I'm concerned that loading my camera software will send the laptop into a coma.  I look forward to the day I can post pictures of my babies and whatever weird stuff I can torment share with you.

So, anyway...just thought I'd warn you that the erratic, sporadic, phlegmatic musings that pour out of this cranial mass will be resuming.

Stay tuned.   I dare you.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Still Offline

Just touching base while I have access to a computer to let you know that my computer finally quit on me and it's going to be a little while longer until we're back online.  No blogging, no searching, no e-mailing for me since mid-May.

If you need to get in touch with me, you're going to have to pick up the phone and call.  So old fashioned, I know. *grin* 

I've really missed being able to pollute contribute to cyber world.  I miss documenting for my kids and I miss the opportunity to write and process what's going on in my life.   

And life amazingly does go on with a computer or not.  Samuel turned four, Abigail just turned two, and we're trying to work on the house in hopes of putting it on the market by the end of summer.  In a case of what could only be temporary insanity, we doubled the size of our garden and Richie has done a beautiful job taking care of it. 

In the biggest family news, we're expecting our fourth little one in January 2011!

Maybe we'll have the computer issue worked out before then... Hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Catching My Attention

You may or may not have noticed that a month or two ago I added something new to my right sidebar.  I'm not quite sure why, but I decided to add a link to some bookmarks I've saved in a Delicious account.  

And because variety is the spice of life and what makes this mama tick, the links cover a wide spectrum of topics.  Although right now looking at them, I see an underlying theme that we won't talk about right now, m'kay?

Anyway, if you ever want to comment or chat on something you see there, this would be the place to do it.  For the record, just because I link to something, it does not necessarily mean I agree with it.  It just caught my attention.   


Hey Diddle, Diddle

Hey diddle, diddle
Jo Ann really wants a fiddle
The kids are jumping all over the place
The old house laughs at her attempts to clean
And her hips ran away with her waist


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Pace In This World

Today I was thinking about how crazy the past few months have felt.  Baseball season started (read: my husband is mostly g-o-n-e) and it has felt like a tornado siren should be sounding off any minute.  I'm really having trouble finding a groove that works for me.  Ironically there are only a few more weeks to the season and then it will be time to readjust again. 

But this season, there have been a few times where I stood in the middle of the chaos house and felt so out of control.  Like everything is happening around me yet I have no part in it.  I'm trying catch up, but the train is quickly leaving me behind.

I find myself grasping (or maybe gasping would be more appropriate) to find the right pace for this time in my life.  Like the long distance runner to whom it's critical to find the right pace in order to finish the race.  (Did I just use whom correctly?  It felt right.  Sorry you grammatical junkies out there, I don't know why you put up with me!)

Maybe I'm not allowing God to set my pace.  Allowing Him to reveal Himself to me and what He thinks of me in all of my life's circumstances.  Not allowing Him to be God.  Ouch.

I know I've been running a bad race.  Putting on a horrible show.  Much like when I was on the middle school track team, but that's another story.  A pathetic and sad story that I hope to never be inspired to share here. 

The real story is that I want to run the race of life worthy of what God has done for me. 

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.  Acts 20:24 NIV
Running at the pace He has set for me. Not pulling ahead of Him. Not falling behind Him. Running with Him, at the speed where I can enjoy His companionship.  Where fulfillment, peace, and joy can be found.

Maybe one of these days I'll get this living for Christ thing right. *Can you hear me laughing?* Until then, I'm just glad He's always ready to refill my cup and quick to come hold me up in this race. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Where To Start?

I'm feeling a bit at a loss for words.  I suppose that's the problem with sporadic blogging, I just don't know where to start.  

Maybe I'd start with the story from this afternoon when Samuel and Abigail spilled some sort of green-blue liquid Caleb concocted (he named it poison) all over the boys' room.

Then maybe I'd tell you that Caleb accidentally broke the glass globe to their light when he lifted a toy in the air in frustration while the two little ones were demanding baths since their hands and feet were now stained with the "poison".

Or that unbeknownst to me as I was being cut cleaning up the said glass, Samuel and Abigail snuck out the back door to play on the swingset.  Completely naked.  

Perhaps I'd share the panic I felt in my stomach when Caleb asked where the two little ones were and the non-motherly feelings I experienced as I flew walked outside and suggested (ahem) they come back inside.  In my pajamas.

I could tell you that all this happened in a span of ten minutes.

Instead, I think I'll start with five things I am glad for:
1.  God gives rest to the weary.
2.  There is never a shortage of learning opportunities in our family. 
3.  Caleb
4.  Samuel
5.  Abigail  


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Snack That Haunted Me

**This has been sitting in the vault since July for some reason...

On my very first trip to Puerto Rico as a young girl there were so many new experiences.  A new culture, new places, new relatives, and of course, new food. 

I remember going to visit some of our relatives who lived up high on a mountain side.  Complete with a fence part of the way down so that if you fell you couldn't roll too far.  Or at least that's why I thought it was there.

I remember our hostess, who I think was a cousin of some sort, being very pretty and she served us the most incredible snack.  Which made me like her even more. *grin*

It made such an impression on me that I have wished I could have more of it ever since then.  It truly has crossed my mind several times a year for the past 20+ years.  What was in that snack?

One day recently I was trying to decide what to have for a snack for the kids and I thought of that elusive snack again.  If only I could replicate that snack, then they would rise up and call me blessed.

I thought about it and decided to go ahead and just use some ingredients that I thought looked like it.  Crackers, tuna fish, and salsa. 

It did not sound very appealing to me.  Not to mention the fact that I am very picky about tuna fish. I was hesitant to take my first bite.  But when I did a party took place in my mouth.  That was it!  Or at least it was close enough for my memory's sake. 

So simple and it had been right in my cupboard for years.

This really is a yummy snack and it could even pass as part of a light lunch.  I just can't believe that it took me this long to figure it out. 


Friday, March 12, 2010

If You Were A Fly On The Wall...

in the last 48 hours, you would have witnessed:
  • Samuel dressed to go outside in his coat, underwear, and flip flops
  • me having to hold Abigail with my legs and one arm in order to administer her breathing treatments for pneumonia...every 4 hours
  • 4 loads of clean laundry on my couch
  • 4 loads of dirty laundry by the washing machine
  • 4 days of dirty dishes in/on the sink, counter, and kitchen table
  • and a partridge in a pear a tree..oops, wrong post
  • Abigail running out the back door naked
  • a woman at the park giving me a mean look because Abigail ran out the back door naked
  • the boys killing over 30 flies that are invading our house (gross!)
  • good thing you weren't a fly on the wall, eh
  • me discovering that Caleb was wearing shoes one and a half sizes too small
  • me having to ask someone to repeat very simple directions twice because it was just not registering
  • me discovering that Samuel was wearing his pants backward, at 2:00 pm, after we had been in public
  • and a whole host of other head shaking things that all lead to one thing...
  • me calling on Jesus a whole lot

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cell Phone Radiation

For the record, I'm not an expert. I just play one on television.

So glad to have that off my chest.

Every once in a while I've heard snippets about radiation and cell phones, but nothing much to really make me question the truth of it. I mean, surely, the government and corporate America have our best interests in mind right? 


*Tap, tap, tap*  Is this thing on?

Between a recent conversation with my mom and a book I was reading, the topic has really been percolating in my brain. And a percolating brain can be a dangerous, dangerous thing.  (Side note - the book is Sex, Lies, and Menopause by T.S. Wiley- contact me if you would like to know more about the book, I recommend it with some reservations.)

The first time I began to question the effects of cell phone usage was this past fall when Richie attended a teacher in-service session on alternative health remedies. The leader of the class touched very briefly on cell phones and how they have been connected to bone loss on individuals who wore their phones on their belts or in the pockets. Without doing a lot of research, I found this article that pointed in that direction.

After doing a little digging (emphasis on little), I've found enough information to be concerned. It seems that researchers are just now being able to link some serious side effects with cell phone usage since it still remains a relatively "new" technology. A decrease in bone density, headaches, behavioral problems, benign and malignant tumors, soft tissue damage (think eyeballs, etc.), and lack of concentration are just a few of the side effects being linked to cell phone usage.

Having lived in the world of statistics and research before my retirement into the glamourous world of full-time homemaker, I cautiously digest what these studies are finding. I plan to keep looking for the actual studies to examine their findings for myself (if it isn't all scientific jargon), but in the meantime I'm going to be changing some of my phone habits.

  • Stop carrying it in my pocket around the house.
  • Try to only use my phone when I have a strong signal. A cell phone emits more radiation when the signal strength is low.
  • Look into getting a good headset and use my speakerphone more often. There is some debate about which headsets protect against radiation.
  • Monitor frequency and length of calls when the kids are on the phone. They aren't on that much, but I want to make sure their calls are kept brief or on speakerphone.
I'm really interested to see what develops as further research is done on this topic. I thought maybe (?) I wasn't the only one who was curious about the subject so I thought I'd share.

Here's a list of cell phone models ranked by radiation from EWG, whose organic Dirty Dozen list I've shared before. Find your cell phone and see how it ranks. Mine was in the upper middle.