Sunday, December 12, 2010

How to turn myself into a writer?


Many MANY years ago I considered pursuing writing in college.  I had already completed a degree in Psychology and was not satisfied.  I had returned briefly for a business degree that required a writing course my previous degree had not.  Finally after years of failure I had finally been able to pull an A out of my professor for writing.  I actually enjoyed too!

Well fast forward 12 years, 3 kids, a wonderful marriage, and knowledge of Army stuff I never wanted, and here I sit thinking about writing again.

I don’t understand the appeal it has for me.  It is rather like exposing myself to strangers emotionally but nonetheless I feel drawn.

The downside, it requires quiet moments without interruption.  It also requires that emotionally I am mostly free from mental burdens.  2 events that are rare in my life.

I will add it to the prayer list and see what comes of it. 

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A new mission

Well, we have a new mission. This one includes the family I fear. DH is on "standby" of sorts. I don't really think about it daily but I am reminded in tiny moments that he could be swept away with a phone call.

Our marriage has never been typical. Our home life is always different. I think I resent that at times and other times I relish in it. This mission is no different.

Either way it is reality, and one I cannot change. So I will add this to my list of prayer requests and go on as all good army wives do. Or more importantly I will remain thankful for each moment and not complain about the things I do not have. I will pray for a contented heart and find joy even in my trials.

That is so much easier to type than do.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Am I sick...

or just getting old?

I woke up 3 hours past my normal wake up time. I just couldn't get my eyes to open or remember why I needed to get up. It was strange. I wonder if this is what getting "old" feels like. Perhaps 80 or 90 but I really hope I am just sick.

My boys have gotten good at playing quietly so morning chores can be delayed so the alarm systen I am used to is starting to fail.

The two little ones are just sick and act how I feel. So maybe I caught it from them. Please let this runny nose, congestion, headache, and lethargy be a cold! Because it too shall pass.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wow, he really gets me!

I saw this on a blog. He totally describes my day, minus the interruptions every 2 minutes from my boys.

At least I know what to fix now.

Perhaps you shall hear from me less, or more depending on my chores.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thank you Lord for only giving me two arms

A few years ago my son got a book titled "If Mom Had Three Arms" and he asked me to read it over and over and over again. I memorized it.

At first it was funny but eventually I started to over think it, of course. The thought of having more than two arms was stressful. One more arm meant one more thing to keep track of and control. One more arm meant I had to pay attention to it, move it, give it chores, etc. The book didn't stop at three arms. It went up to 16!

I remember the anatomy lesson that your brain is in two halves, not 3, not 4, and definitely not 16. Can you imagine your brain in 16 parts? I tried. It gave me a headache.

So for all of you wishing for one more arm, don't. Be thankful for two and slow down so those two can be very useful. Your brain will thank you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A small house and big expectations

When we moved with the Army we could only afford so much house. We also were locked into certain homes because we had 4 dogs, 3 over 50lbs. Now my dogs cause less messes than my kids but most landlords will not even consider dogs.

So when we moved we lost 400 sq feet, an open floor plan, and a home only 7 years old. Instead we got lots of land and space to play outside with a central location. We also got a home that was 30 years old, not well maintained, lots of allergy producing trees, and more tiny closets than one person needs.

I ask alot of a home. We school here, run a business, cook, play, quilt, and do most family time here. We are homebodies.

Because of all that I move furniture. My husband says alot but honestly I have slowed down. I move it to odd places. I block doorways, put bookshelves inside closets, and use sewing machine cases to hold TVs. I use what works and what I have in the house. If it doesn't work then I go a little nuts.

So, dear husband, I know you don't like to move furniture but it makes for a better wife. Wouldn't you agree?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Why I Organize

I was not born into an organized home. I grew up learning how to save everything, keep it for a rainy day, or hang out to it out of guilt for the price or who made it for you. Stuff was very stressful in my childhood home, at least to me. To those around me stuff meant things. Clothes had meaning beyond covering your body. Objects represented events and memories whether they were beautiful or not. All of these things weighed heavily on me.

I tried to be what I saw around me. I tried to care about the clothes, trinkets, and status symbols. When I left for college I finally realized that it was not who I was. I looked around me and saw girls living happily without all those clothes. They didn't have 30 sweaters or 15 pairs of jeans. They didn't have 10 different dresses for church for only the Spring or 6 watches. I could be free and still be happy.

I remember the day I cleaned out my closet. I took several trash bags of clothing to the dumpster (I didn't know what else to do with it back then). My organizing days had begun! I had found my freedom.

Now I am 35 with a husband, 3 boys, 3 dogs, and a home. I buy clothes that are comfortable and reasonably priced. Cluttered countertops and things piled about still really bother me but I don't always have the energy to tackle them.

But the most important thing I realized is if it isn't organized I can't function. If things are out of place so am I. Now everyday clutter that can be put away quickly doesn't bother me. It has a home I just haven't put it away yet. It is the stuff that doesn't have a home that gets to me, wears me down, and ultimately effects my long term sense of self.

Ridiculous? I think so but it is who I am. I can't get around it. I have tried. So today I will be reorganizing the house a bit. I will be very happy when it is done. My husband (who will be doing the heavy lifting) probably won't agree.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Today I have before me the very picture of living a heartbroken life. I see all the reasons her life lead to this point and I see myself in her. She chooses her path by following her broken heart. This heart was broken long ago at time when she could not protect it. It was broken by those who were the protectors. Instead she was caught in their wake of selfish lies and discarded along the way.

Now she tries to make her way unaware that the real heartbreak will never be healed. I have had similar heartaches, though not as pronounced. I sought comfort in similar places. I fought the same battles with my heart. I never won.

Instead I was saved. Christ sought me out and saved me. It was nothing I did nor did I know that I needed that saving. It has been a long road to today. I still feel the scars and deal with the consequences. But I no longer follow my broken heart. I pray the same for this girl in front of me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To all who served.....

I say thank you.

I am daily reminded of your sacrifice and the lives you led without the luxury of technology, cell phones, and skype. You did it without great equipment or pay.

You did it knowing that many of you would not return home. You left knowing you would only be writing letters that would reach home after a month's journey.

Your children did not always know you when you returned. Parts of your life had moved on and still you served. Many will never fully understand all your sacrfices and that is okay.

So thank you from those of us who do understand in part. I know this not why you served but still we are grateful.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

helping hands

Recently I have been witness to the offer of help and the giver of the same. I have also in the recent past been the receiver of such help. I remember when my middle son was hospitalized with a spinal infection and subsequent treatments at home for 6 weeks. We were locked in the house to prevent more infections, loss of sleep due to the IV medications, and fear if I didn't do my job he would die. That was alot to absorb and I still don't think I ever fully grasped what was going on. I was just trying to get through it and do what was set before me. I couldn't think about what we needed past the next 8 hours.

But there were many hands offering help. Genuine offers of sincere loving help and I had nothing for them to do. The help I needed couldn't be brought by distant friends. I needed someone to make a copy of me so she could run around and do everything. So I didn't have to tell her where to put the dishes or how that was supposed to work.

Have you ever considered how many people it would take to replace you? I did. It would take 6 people doing 6 different jobs to replace me. Mom, cook, cleaner, dog wrangler (we had 4), bookkeeper, nurse (I can change a bandage like no one else), and general manager of all activities. Maybe more. I am highly skilled apparently, or just very good at doing lots of things at one time. I am still deciding.

Turning down those offers made me feel guilty. It was difficult to simply say I don't need anything when I obviously did. I felt like I was lying. So I wonder what to offer when I offer help? A gift certificate to be used later when things are better? A meal but in containers that can be tossed (because who wants to do dishes)? I am stumped. I don't want to put more on the people by forcing them to say no but I also don't want them to think we are not willing to help or don't sincerely care.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


He got the name after the fun character in "The Incredibles", Jack-Jack. He is my youngest of 3 boys. He was unexpected, only 15 months behind our middle son, but I knew he was exactly what God had planned. He is the one I understand least, even at the age of 3 (almost 4), I don't have a line on his soul and spirit.

My first son I connected with immediately. I KNEW him. He reflects me in many ways. My second son I immediately KNEW I was looking at his father. Zach appeared and I was confused.

I know you are thinking I am crazy. How can you possibly KNOW who a newborn is? How can you understand them and what they are thinking? Well I don't know but I did with those two. I DIDN'T with the third. He is definitely this amazing combination of both of us, a combination neither of us understand.

My love for him is unchanged, but my patience with him is regularly questioned. He refuses something he loved the day before. He screams when he can't get his pants on but refuses help. His recent assertion of independence is welcomed with the exception of the constant screaming (little girl ear piercing screams BTW). But then he climbs into bed with us EVERY night and refuses to fall asleep without me present. (Tried putting him back many times and I tell ya 3 am screaming is worse than day time screaming)

I pray I can be the Mom God needs me to be to him. I pray I can let him be the man God wants him to be. I pray that I don't ground him until he is 5 for all the screaming.

Friday, November 05, 2010

My life is amusing

to me and to others is seems. I didn't know it but folks are delighted at my status updates on Facebook. They think I am so clever and so funny, or so I am told. I cannot take credit however. These are my true sources of funny. They are delightful, imaginative, and pure boy.

Today, instead of making beds and tidying their rooms as they were told this morning they announced they were guinea pigs who build evil robots to take over the world. They spoke in guinea pig for a good 15 minutes then gave it up to give more specific robot building instructions.

I am often told boys are different than girls. I agree, don't you?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

It's a new day....

sort of. So I have been busy, mentally busy that is, and unable to straighten my thoughts out long enough to put them down in the blog. If only there were some kind of mental iron, I would probably need the linen setting at this point.

I am trying to start a business and I feel so inadequate for the task. The door of opportunity has swung wide open and all I need to do is the work. My inner child is whining at the thought of all the work but I KNOW it should be done, needs to be done, and eventually will be done. Now to find a time-out chair for the inner child. I named her Amanda. I have known some whiny Amanda's in my life so it seemed appropriate. I apologize to the amazing non-whiny Amanda's out there.

So while Amanda is in time out I am going to do some research and work on a presentation. Then I will do laundry and go to the grocery store. It isn't even close to a glamorous life but it is blessed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am back.....

...maybe. Life has been blessedly busy. I remember last when DH was deployed and how desperately lonely I was everyday. It subsided as I made friends but that took months and months so most days were alone, most night were alone. I will never again complain about too busy. Too busy means you have a life. Too busy means you have friends and the biggest problem you have everyday is deciding what NOT to do so you don't overdo it.

Trust me, too busy is a blessing in comparison to too lonely. So hug your friends and family. Thank them for being a part of your busy life. They are a blessing from God. Enjoy every minute and don't worry so much about keeping up with the "things" around you.

Now I am off to QUICKLY tidy the house so I can have friends over tonight and get some quilting done. Before that I have to make phone calls, do some marketing for the biz, and maybe cook some dinner. Thank you, thank you, thank you, LORD for my busy blessed life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Do You Show Love

Recently we were memorizing/learning the verses most often used at weddings, the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. We only did verses 4 thru 7 which was plenty for the youngins'.

I always enjoy the conviction and admonition that comes to you when you are least expecting it. These verses did that to me, and they haven't stopped for over a week. I feel like someone dropped a ton of rocks on me.

I pray they are burned in my soul.
The big ones for me:

Love DOES NOT behave rudely. Ouch!

Love is NOT irritable or resentful. Double Ouch!

Love Bears all things; Believes all things; Hopes all things; Endures all things. (painful moaning) for help!!!

I have not shown love as I should. I am working on it. This will take my lifetime I am sure. Until then please forgive me.

I praise God for our new day so that we may begin again. I praise God for his Son, Jesus, who already paid for my sinful selfish lack of love. I praise God that He forgives me daily. He knows I would never be able to do this EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. Whew! I am so glad he KNOWS me.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Subjects to avoid in conversations with military spouses | spouses, spouse, emotions - Close Up - Sun Journal

As an Army wife and participant in numerous deployments, ranging from 2 weeks to 12 months over the course of 10 years of marriage I can really relate to this article. 3 months is different than 12 and none of it compares to civilian life. I don't think these are all of the things you should never say. But they are certainly on the list. So if you know a military spouse, forgive us for losing our temper when you say one of these things. We are trying to hold it together, really we are, but we are really bad at it some days.

Subjects to avoid in conversations with military spouses | spouses, spouse, emotions - Close Up - Sun Journal

Friday, July 02, 2010

Construction Woes

Our current house is a rental. We are military, enough said. They finally got around to repairing the hole in the floor by the fireplace that turned out to be a leak on the roof around the chimney that had gone on for 5 or more years. 5 YEARS!

Well, it rotted out the roof, the support beam for the roof, studs on half the wall, subfloor, beams supporting the floor, door frame, basically everything on that wall.

They knocked down the adorable stone fireplace. Why you ask? Because it was all rotted behind the fireplace.

Does anyone know what happens when there is rotting plant matter (wood) in North Carolina? Anyone? If you live here for more than 2 seconds you know. It attracts your friendly neighborhood cockroach. Here they call them Palmetto bugs or Water bugs. Yeah, they are still cockroaches.

Can anyone guess what happens when rotting wood goes unchecked for 5 years? The Water Bugs build a nest, in your wall.


When those nice construction guys knock it down the bugs come pouring out. I didn't get a picture. I was too busy trying to kill them before they got in the rest of the house. I am pretty sure I missed some because I have been killing little baby water bugs for several months now.

My only consolation, this particular cockroach doesn't like the indoors. They prefer decaying plant matter, outside, not in the house. Whew! So when given a choice they want to leave. It wasn't much of a consolation.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Parallel Lives

This is DH home on R&R last summer toward the end of a 12 month deployment

It became painfully apparent that I do not share all of my life with my husband. It is a hazard of military life. Between training, schools, long hours on post, and deployments we do not share our lives. I don't know how other families work together or how much they share. I have lived here in this house for almost 2 years. He has lived here for 8 months. I will be sad to leave it, very sad. I love our church, I love my neighbors and friends. They are like family to me in many ways. He still needs directions to get around town and could leave tomorrow if he needs to with no sadness except for maybe the stuff on post

This absence has gone on for most of our marriage. It is larger now that we are Army (Air Force does not know how good they have it). The training is longer, the deployments are longer, and the work days seem longer as well. But I have learned to keep moving forward, albeit slowly, with life and activities. I used to wait for DH to get home or a better time when we could all do it. I realized it was never going to happen. Nothing was ever going to work perfectly or be timed just right. The boys are getting bigger and we were all missing out. So we keep going.
. 2003 Deployment during our Air Force Years

The problem is that so is he. He does have a military life that we are separate from most of the time. We cannot understand. We simply can't. I have to accept that.

The way it seems to work for us though in somewhere at home. We rest in the knowledge that we are a family no matter what happens. We are here, at home, where ever that may be at the time. He knows we will be here waiting when he gets home. He knows what he is working for while he trains and takes tedious classes at bases far away. We are working at shutting things out to enjoy that time. We have to fight harder for that time that many families I see take for granted. We do not enjoy the familiarity of everyday routines with another person. I have to work at not resenting his laptop in my work area. I rejoice at times to have the extra laundry. It means he is home, for now.

We move forward, live our lives that we may glorify God, here and there. Some times together, many times apart. Moving, not on the same path, but still together.

Packing night for 2008 Deployment

Absence does make the heart grow fonder in some ways. In other ways it causes you to put up defenses because you know they will have to leave again. You learn to live with the pain, at least I try, so you can enjoy the moment. Because some times all you get is that moment.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Never burn bridges....

My last few days have been a doozy. Well maybe a little bit of a doozy but it felt big to me. I squeezed it in between kids, school, church, and quilt class. It kind of fell on me at once but would not have been that bad had it not been for those folks who at times are a little crazed with life and it spills onto other things.

First it was someone in the Army life. They were having an awful week and I called, innocently asking for information, at exactly the wrong time. After some words from them (I didn't have a chance to speak) they hung up to yell at the person they were actually mad at. I was stunned a little but not hurt. I baked her some banana bread to smooth things over even though it wasn't my fault. Homemade banana bread fixes a lot of things.

The second event was from some sensitive tenants in the house we can't sell in another state. We leased it because we couldn't sell it. They wanted to buy it but have had so many financial and medical issues they can't. We have to sell. We can't afford to keep it. They refuse to show it and have delayed the process for 2 months. Texting is not a great way to communicate this type of information but they will not answer the phone. Then they called my DH mean in a text. -Sigh-

I type all this to say, never burn your bridges. You never know when you will need that person to show kindness or compassion. As a Christian I am commanded to turn the other cheek. I am also commanded to act with kindness and gentleness no matter what you have done to me. I know all people do not act this way. Not all people are Christians and not all Christians act this way all the time. Odds are they will return your spite with spite and then some.

I will speak with the Army contact later in the week when she is feeling better. Our tenants are legally bound to allow access to the house and still need a good reference from us. I don't think they remember that. You never know when you will need that bridge to still be standing, and besides mean words never help. They only make you look crazy and out of control.

I pray your bridges are still standing today. If not perhaps you need to repair them if you know how.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I don't know WHAT this says about me or my high school years but this song reminds me of hot summer nights, drivin' too fast down a dirt road tryin' to make curfew. I was almost always comin' back from something I shouldn't a' been doin'.

Yes all the words were intentional because I remember my childhood in a deep Texas accent.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I just love this one. 2 of my 3 boys will do this with me, the other one looks at us like we are crazy. It is the same look his father gets, but we eventually wear him down until he at least laughs but not before he complains our music is too loud. You know some 4 year olds just don't get it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Late Night Reverie

I should go to bed.
I SHOULDN'T watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes on Netflix until 3 am.
I should get up early and exercise.
I SHOULDN'T sleep in until my wake call up hits me in the head with a toy truck.
I should post more on the blog.
I SHOULDN'T over analyze everything until my drafts out number my posts.

Here is to all the "should-ers" out there! May you all turn into doers...goodnight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Posting Paradise

The freedom of the blog post is truly a release I finally realized. After being mommed, pulled, yanked, and shot (with toys) pulling your brain out of that fog enough to form sentences is heaven.

Tonight it took almost 2 hours of reading other fantastically creative blogs, new quilt patterns, new fabrics, and funny stories of other moms who are also shot at with toys frequently throughout the day.

I have to say what finally yanked me to reality was the post about a quilter's block tool that is an iPhone or iTouch app, or and iPad that I have started to desire for no other reason that it looks like so much efficient terrific fun that I could make a special pretty case for and carry with me. The app can take a preloaded block and tell you what and how to cut the fabric and how much you need for each different block, even if you change the size of the block. I almost fell out of my chair. Such genius and portable on a wonderful iPad.

Well, now that I am aware and awake I noticed the dogs need to be fed. They are circling my chair. Thank you other bloggers for the creative boost. I just might make it to bed on time after all.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Does this thing still work?

Well I am utterly confused by the blogger switchy thing. Mainly because i have no idea what I am doing. But if this will still publish perhaps I have a shot.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What to pack?

Well I leave for a trip on Thursday for Texas. I am going to my hometown where all my immediate family resides. I have 4 siblings so for them all to have remained or returned to the place of our upbringing is quite unusual. Nonetheless there they all are so I am off for a visit.

I leave behind all my sweet boys and my dear husband. He very gracious took leave to stay home with the boys while I trek to Texas for 9 days. There were many things to decided leading up to this trip, most seemed out of my control. So I go for 9 providential days of family time and visits. I have older relatives to visit, some documenting of quilts, and perhaps a little fabric shopping.

As any good quilter knows, no matter where you are you must visit the local fabric shop. It has been quite awhile since I have been home and without kids in tow I have ample time to browse the quilt shop and enjoy the local amenities.

Although I grew up there much has changed. It is a small town but I have been "out" of town for quite some time. I usually come to see family and do nothing else. This trip offers a rare opportunity to explore, visit, and take in the town.

I have never been away from my boys for more than one night except to have another one or when our DS2 was hospitalized at 8 months old. Even then I saw my oldest everyday when he visited, and I was pregnant with DS3. I am well aware that I will suffer more than my husband and sons. My plan is to keep myself VERY busy so I won't miss them as much. Also, prayer, there will be lots of prayer.

Now I must decide what to pack. So much extra room when you are only packing for one. So many decisions! Do I bring that quilt I want to start or do I wait and use the extra space for supplies? Do I bring the 9 patch to work on at my Aunt's house with the fancy sewing machines or do I buy some new fabric and cut up those fat quarters? Oh I will throw in some clothing too, eventually.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A loaded needle

and I am not afraid to use it!

I started hand quilting 2 weeks ago. Some of you may ask why. Why would I do something so time consuming that I could do so much faster on a machine? Well I tried the machine and was not pleased with the results. Perhaps because it looked like I attempted it after 3 shots of tequila. Until I get a better machine with a fancy foot to keep me on the path I have chosen then I think my slow hands will have to do.

My other reason was the accuracy and control you have with hand quilting. Of course I used this reason before I actually started hand quilting. Now that I have started I discovered that I don't actually have that much control or accuracy because you need to build muscles and knowledge about how that needle is going to move through your fabric, your quarter inch seams, and those points you worked so hard to match.

Last night, at 2 am, in an attempt to force a needle through one hard spot I completely bent it. I didn't know you could do that. It was then I decided I should go to bed and try again in the morning. I will show you my results when I actually finish the little quilt.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I love my kids

I have always thought my boys were brilliant. I once spoke to a homeschooling mom who runs a curriculum business which is great, she also has 3 grown boys. I was describing my oldest to her and how difficult I found it to teach him because he was so fast. She told me many helpful things because she had one son who was very similar, but what stuck in my head the most was this statement. "They make wonderful adults."

My oldest is now 7 and absorbs many things, but rarely what I want him to learn. His best subject is not even a subject. He is a geogprahy whiz thanks to our SmartGlobe. If you don't have one for your kids you should. It is really amazing.

When DH's youngest brother, who is in medical school, visited a few months ago he was amazed at the oldest's ability to locate places and asked him to do it over and over again. Early one morning they were competing with one of the games where you find places as fast as you can in a certain amount of time. The 7 year old beat the med student. Good thing he just needs to know anatomy.

In fact he asked my son so often to repeat things from the globe he was finally told, "You really need to get a SmartGlobe". I love my kids! They can always make me laugh.

An Icky Tuesday

I know I have not posted in awhile as things change so quickly around here. I am attempting a few new things. I ordered an all natural weight loss supplement because the baby weight, now 3 years old, will still not come off. Granted I have not tried that hard but I have rarely tried that hard in the past and it usually comes off by itself. I will blame the Army like I do for most things these days! Hahahaha!!!!

That would be great to lay blame at another's feet, sadly it is my own fault I am certain. I will let you know how it goes. It isn't a stimulant but helps increase energy and regulate stress hormones which seem to be running rampant in me as DH brings home news of one more thing for him leave for weeks or months on end. So maybe it is a little the Army's fault. When I get stressed I hang on to every last cell like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. I am surprised my cheeks don't puff up like I am hiding nuts!

Today is gray with a chance of snow and I am fighting off a little cold. No fever just tons of drainage that makes my head spin. Just enough to cancel appointments and slow me down.

I will start quilting again next week and have a great shopping day planned for Saturday that will include quilt shops and a delicious lunch. Plenty of reason to up my Vitamin C and focus on getting well. I love quilt shops.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hi Ho the Dairy Oh......

......we finally made it home.

You know that you are truly desperate for your child to stop crying when you can make up endless verses to this tune hours on end.

After six hours there and back in the car by myself with my 2 year-old and 50 lb puppy, home is a welcoming sight. We made it home with little excitement but getting there and experiencing my family was, as usual, something to talk about.

We set out a week ago Wednesday and 2 hours into the trip my puppy threw up in the back seat. While I was on the side of the BUSY highway cleaning up the mess with baby wipes and telling my dog to not jump out of the car, my son picked up my coffee cup. It of course was easily within his reach because it was the only place to set it due to the large amounts of stuff in the front seat to entertain him. Although it had a lid on it he still managed to spill it into the toy bucket and just a little on the laptop sitting in front of him. This of course was put so close to play his DVD's so he wouldn't cry the whole way like he did last time we took a trip in the car for more than 3 hours.

The highlights of the trip included running endlessly around my mother's house trying to keep everything from breaking at the hands of the baby or puppy; watching my mother's little 12 lb schnauzer SCREAM in terror anytime puppy tried to play with her (I have never heard that sound come from a dog); pulling my son out of the disgusting backyard pond he fell head first into at the baby shower for my sister's new 4 week old daughter; getting my son to sit still for pictures in the front yard of my mother's house with his 4 cousins and not pull all the flowers out.  It may be time to rethink road trips.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Being the mother of little boys is not for the weak...

..when you are greeted like I was this morning.  I will spare you any photos and I apoligize in advance to any weak stomach readers.  Really, don't read further if you are easily grossed out.

From bed this morning, about 6:30 am, I hear "Ow, ow, ow, ow, Mommy, owie, owie, owie, help, help" in a little voice (not screaming) from my 3 yo in his room.  This can mean a variety of things because "ow" for him means anything that is currently touching him that he does not like.  The dog, his shirt, a booger on his finger, peanut butter, really anything, and it is my job to rescue him apparently.

So, "ow, ow, help, help, ow, owie, owie, Mommy, owie, ow, ow"...on and on and on.  I finally give in knowing it will never stop.

I will pause to say thanks for the ingenious little child proof door lock thingy that I put on the inside of their door.  It means they can't get out when I close it.  It keeps them in at night because if they knew they could get out they would and have, all night long, over and over again.  I like my sleep so I "lock" them in.  Trust me, I can hear them if they wake up.  Besides the 4 yo one can actually open it

Okay, I go in to their room to see my precious little baby with hands covered in POO.  His shirt too and the 4 yo explaining that he had a poopy pull up so he changed it.  Had the lock not been there, I would have had that all over me and my bed. 

We are currently in the process of fully potty training the extremely stubborn 4 yo who would rather pee in his underwear and put poo on the floor than be bothered to go to the potty.  So I took his pull ups during the day away and take him to the potty, all the time.  He has yet to do it on his own.  Really, he just runs around in pee underwear until I catch him and make him change.  I would rethink it and maybe he isn't ready but he is 4 1/2 yo.  Come on.

So the poo is on the floor, the 3 yo, the bed, various toys surrounding the poo, pajamas, and the 4 yo.  I would like to say this is the first time he has done it.  It isn't.  I would like to say that he is the only one in the house that I wake up to in this state.  NO, he isn't.

The dogs have greeted me with poo presents lately.  Normally they are very good about holding it all night.  Lately, since the Jack Russell Terrier moved in on the other side of the fence they are a little lax about getting the business done at night.  Instead they stand at the fence and bark at him.  I have had to rearrange our feeding schedule to earlier in the day which I don't actually have time for and forget quite often so they will poop earlier and not on my floor.

Well, I got it all cleaned up easily.  Why, because I know all the cleaners and have a STACK of cleaning towels.  I mean the stack you get at Sam's that no one ever uses unless they professionally clean.  I use them all the time.  Mine are NEON GREEN so I can find them in a poo emergency.

So, later as I am getting out of the shower I am greeted with the 3 yo running back into the bathroom with the plunger.  He was "working" on the toilet in the other bathroom.  I could tell.  It was dripping on my bedroom carpet.  This is also the toilet the boys use and don't always flush.  They didn't this time either.

It was at this point I realized today was going to be an off day.  Just one of those days that everything seems absurd and you are in the middle of it.

Well, I have some laundry to do.  I hope this story gives you peace and happiness that you are not me.  At least today.

Tomorrow they will do some brilliant and cute.  The 4 yo just came in to tell me his calculator is stuck in the neighbor's bush.  He said he got the calculator out of the tree.  Now I am curious what he means by calculator.  Off to the bush!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Facebook | The Daily Spurgeon: Gradual Decline

Facebook The Daily Spurgeon: Gradual Decline: "Remember, brethren, that decays in grace and backsliding are usually very much like the fall of the autumn leaves. You are watching the trees, forever now they are beginning to indicate the coining fall. They evidently know that their verdant robes are to be stripped from them, for they are casting off their first loose vestments. How slowly the time of the brown leaf comes on! You notice here and there a tinge of the copper hue, and anon the gold leaf or the bronze is apparent. Week after week you observe that the general fall of the leaves is drawing nearer, but it is a matter that creeps slowly on. And so with backsliders. They are not put out of the visible church all at once, they do not become open offenders all at once. The heart by slow degrees turns aside from the living God, and then at last comes the outward sin and the outward shame. God save us from falling by little and little! The devil’s little strokes have felled many great oaks.

From a sermon entitled 'Grey Hairs,' delivered September 13, 1868. Image by Chris Darling under Creative Commons License."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Join | Frugal Hacks

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I vacuum...

to relax. I know weird, right?  It has not always been like this but something about the humming and methodical moving of the vacuum cleaner back and forth that makes me feel better.  It also has the added benefit of getting the kids to run away.  They like to pretend they are scared of it and then find something else to do.

I woke up in what can only be explained as a "funk".  You know that unexplainable feeling of exhaustion that makes you feel like you are walking through molasses. It was Sunday and I was very grumpy, tired, and couldn't form words properly.  I needed to calm down so I got out the Dyson.  I vacuumed for 20 minutes and felt much better.  My husband, I am certain, was happy to have a functioning wife for a bit.  We made it to church on time but the funk returned later.

It is moments like this you simply have to "cowboy up" because whining doesn't help.  Your small children don't understand that you feel awful nor do they care.  Now I didn't fly through the day.  I am not that good of a cowboy.  I did feed them and get the important stuff done.  I finally felt better around 10 pm at which point I talked my husband into playing Wii Golf.  It is our version of spending time together which I find more fun than watching a movie.  This way we are actually talking even if it is trash talk about how much better I am at Wii Golf than he is.  He stayed up later to do training events so it won't happen again.  I thought that might be the end of my brief golf championship status.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A new day

I love the morning.  It holds so much potential and it is after all when the joy will come.  The previous day's events can be discouraging, or the lack of events.  You can be frustrated and worn down, but waking up often gives you new perspective and determination to overcome those obstacles.

I know each day is a blessing and I was recently convicted by the verse "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1.  It came with a sermon by Jonathan Edwards titled "Procrastination" or "The Sin and Folly of Depending on Future Time".  I have not read far into the sermon because it is after all Jonathan Edwards, a well known Reformed preacher from the 18th century.  It requires much focus, a dictionary, and thesaurus for me to get through it.  You can find a copy of the sermon here,  It was the title that really stuck with me because I had never heard procrastination described as sin or in that manner.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Procrastination can take on many forms, but it means you are unwilling to do something that can be done today.  Although we may seem "busy" these days we often choose frivilous activities, and there are many out there, to occupy our time.  I will sit on Facebook looking at profiles and pictures of people I don't know because it entertains me.  My past largest sinful time waster was television.  This one is a huge weakness for me, more so than the computer. All the fictional stories developed by worldly writers often put me in a bad mood for reasons I am sure a therapist could figure out but getting rid of it altogether seemed more economical.  We do still have a television, but no cable.  I also had a huge problem with commerical and how they affected my children, even those on kid channels.  We have chosen to purchase shows and movies on DVD and some we watch on Netflix.  It has been almost a year since I turned it off and truly I do not miss it.  I did compensate by watching shows online which I still do but I have learned to do other things, like quilting, which makes viewing TV online not possible.  I do maybe once or twice a month watch a few favorite shows online, but for the most part I simply do not have time.  Inevitably even doing this requires I lose sleep or neglect something else.  I woud much rather be quilting or reading a book.  Both make for a better night's rest than an episode of Criminal Minds.

I do wonder when others find the time to watch television.  I stay at home with my children.  I have 3 dogs, more than the average family, and I homeschool.  But I only have one child of homeschooling age right now and he is easy to teach.  I have one real hobby which is quilting and I don't have time for it that often, maybe 2 hours a week, tops.  We get sick less than most because we don't go out to public places as often and I don't go to a gym or exercise at all.  I should but I don't have time.  Now I admit to being a procrastinator but I don't procrastinate enough to make room in my schedule for even an hour of TV.  It seems like you really have to neglect your duties and ignore the needs of those around you to actually watch TV shows these days.  Of course this is my opinion, and I pray others are better at it than I am.

I am truly a weak individual, driven by my selfish desires.  My desire for more sleep because I didn't control myself and get in bed on time makes mornings annoying.  My desire to sit on the couch or buy that pretty thing I just saw online I wrestle with daily and I almost always regret giving in to.  My desire to have a moment of silence when all my children really want is to play while I watch them leads to raised voices and grumpy kids.  All these desires are self-serving and require that I neglect my calling as a Christian, wife, and mother.  It is obviously backwards from what we are told by every facet of communication and most "experts" these days.

I would elaborate more on this but I have cookies to make and my son wants his hair shaved off.  I am working on my sin of procrastination.  I have only been promised today and I will take advantage of it.  It isn't even lunch yet and this new day still has so much potential.  What will God bring you today?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My First Quilt Class

I took my first quilt class this last summer.  God answered my prayer of learning to quilt by putting me in a rent house we found online that happened to be next door to an expert quilter.  I have been hoarding fabric for over 10 years and slowing buying supplies, unwilling to give up hope that someday I would make a quilt.  It took me many months to get to know my neighbors.  I was overwhelmed with the deployment, the move, and having no friends.  I also decided to switch from the church we had first visited and joined when we arrived to one more suited to our family and beliefs.  That was difficult but a blessing and what led to the opportunity to have the quilt class.

This is Mildred and I at the end of the second class.  I gave this one to my oldest son who named it his "Blankie Quilt" and sleeps with it every night.  He begged for weeks for it to be done.

It was a passing conversation with my new friends at church and Mildred happened to be free for the summer class.  It was providential in so many ways and the blessings keep coming.  First, I am absolutely hooked on quilting.  "They" say you either get obsessed or forget about it altogether.  Well I am obsessed.  If I am not quilting I am looking at quilts, reading quilt blogs, pricing quilt tools online, and estimating how much cash I need to save up before I enter another fabric store.  I have to very seriously talk to myself about budgets and not spending more than I should when I need to go into a fabric store.  It goes something like this, "You need one thing, go fast, and get out.  NO you can't buy anything else just get it and get out.  You KNOW you will be so mad at yourself if you overspend...."  This dialogue keeps going in my head as I make my way to the cash register.

This is Rita's quilt, a wonderful little baby quilt.

Second, I have some wonderful friends from quilt class that I would not have been able to get to know as well in another setting.  I got to know Mildred 10 times better and I love that.  She is wonderful and supportive.  Always willing to come help me out of the mess I made of the quilt or the sewing machine.  I have learned so much from her and love to have such a wonderful neighbor.  She is also alone with her husband in a nursing home.  I feel so blessed to be able to support her when she needs it or help her lift something if needed.  Not that she needs it often.  She is seventy something and always goes.  I pray I will be that active at her age.  I pray I can be that active at my age!  She has been such a blessing from God.

I also was able to meet my new friend Jackie.  We mainly email but that is all we have time for.  Jackie has been a blessing from God in so many ways.  We both have been dealing with deployed husbands and have small children at home. I have 3 little boys and she has 5 (3 girls, 2 boys).  During this time we have both faced health issues that were daunting and still had to homeschool and maintain households.  We both think we did poorly but God had a plan in there somewhere.  Neither of us can see it yet but I know we both have faith that it all happened for God's glory.  We are both praying that the deployment stuff is over soon, at least in the short term.  In the mean time we email, a lot.

This is Regina and her cute quilt.  She gave her's as a gift to her mother and she loved it.

Third, it gave me a distraction I desperately needed this last year.  With DH gone I dreaded each night and I had something to occupy my mind.  Getting your points to match is a fantastic way to distract yourself from the nagging loneliness.

This is me, my first born on his first Christmas, my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  Aren't they lovely?

Finally, it has given me the inspiration to document my great grandmother's quilts and her story.  She is still alive and mentally present to convey her story.  I am so excited to find all her older quilts and preserve them for our future generations.  She started quilting over 80 years ago when she was 14 years old.  She lived through the depression and still loves to laugh.  I won't be able to get to Texas until May and have already started preparations to speak with her.  She doesn't do much but she is still able to live with her daughter and not in a nursing home. She is excited about the project as well and I can't wait to see her again.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Kenna's "I can't take Ragu anymore" Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Kenna Zeigler
8:50am Sep 9th
Kenna's "I can't take Ragu anymore" Crockpot Tomato Sauce

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