Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm more of a white lights and classic decorations kind of girl, so forgive me if I sound a little sarcastic.
Well, November is coming to a close and I'm more than a little sorry to be finishing this challenge. It's been such a blessing (and comic relief sometimes!) to read what everyone else was thankful for, and to really sit down and give words to the things for which I am grateful.
The year is winding down, and I have so much to be thankful for. The health of my family, good friends (corporeal and cyber), milestones that my children have reached and spiritual growth. The list could go on and on, and I want to thank Leah for starting this challenge. It reminded me of all the things (small and large) that I have in my life that make me happy and comfortable. It also reminded me that even the things that make me sad and uncomfortable are there for a reason, and that I should be thankful for them too.
God intends every event in my life....He has orchestrated it from the foundation of the world and for that, I am eternally grateful.
I decided to keep my list in a post so that I would always remember the things for which I was thankful in 2007.
2. Healthy children
3. A loving husband who cherishes me
5. God's sovereignty
6. Online Christmas shopping
7. My piano
8. Hot chocolate with marshmallows.
9. Fresh oranges from my tree
10. My new screen door.
11. Spiritual revival
12. Morning calls from Ronna.
13. Good morning hugs from my sleepy 3 year old
14. The Reformation
15. My backyard.
16. Orange slices, cinnamon and cloves simmering on the stove.
17. Trevor's mechanical prowess.
18. Not being in charge of children's church for another 8 weeks.
19. Cold Shiner Bock
21. Pizza delivery
22. Cool weather for Thanksgiving.
24. Christmas lights
25. Blue Bell ice cream
26. Being cancer free for almost 16 years.
27. The women in my life.
28. My new deck furniture.
29. The fact that my Christmas shopping is done!
30. A day off from work to decorate!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The level of clean boxers and t-shirts doesn't diminish daily.
I can't call anytime of the day just to chat.
The other side of the bed is cold when I migrate over in the middle of the night.
The fridge is covered with pictures and messages from the kids.
I had to put the new glider together by myself.
There was no one to enjoy the new glider with me once it was assembled.
There is one less dish to fill and then clean after dinner.
The 12-pack of Dr. Pepper is still full in the fridge.
I miss Trevor. It's been a long time since he has had to go to China (for which I am grateful), but I still miss him. I notice his absence in the little things, and then my thoughts wander down the path of permanent absence. What would I do if this were my life? What would I do without him?
I would live, of course. I would breathe in and out. I would wake up each morning, get up and care for our children. This is what I tell myself when those thoughts creep in. I force myself to do things that could wait until he gets home. I guess it's a way to prove to myself that I could do it if I had to.
But I don't want to.
But I could. When he gets home on the 5th, I'll be ever so excited and I will be grateful for yet another safe trip and return. I will be overjoyed that he is back with us and that I don't have to go on another minute without him. But as God as my witness, (and strength) I could.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
When I reached the 100th post milestone, I was still new enough to blogging that I was not aware of the quaint little tradition of posting 100 things about myself. So in honor of my 200th post, here we go:
1. My eyes are blue.
2. My dad called me his pretty blue-eyed princess when I was little.
3. My dad still calls me that.
4. I'm 35.
5. I don't have a spleen, which makes for interesting party conversation.
6. My favorite color is blue.
7. I own 30 books about Elizabeth I.
8. I had Bell's palsy when I was an infant.
9. I craved nectarines when I was pregnant with Nathan.
10. I didn't crave anything when I was pregnant with Gracie.
11. I have 3 double-first cousins. My dad's brother married my mom's sister.
12. I love the Laura Ingall's Wilder books. I got the entire set for Christmas when I was about 9 and have read them all through at least 20 times.
13. My best friend from high school died last year.
14. My favorite drink is Coke Zero Vanilla.
15. I have been blogging for 8 months, 14 days.
16. I sing alto.
17. My favorite movie to watch when I'm sick is Gone With the Wind.
18. I secretly like being sick because I get to stay at home alone and lay around all day in my PJs.
19. My favorite season is fall and I love the smell of burning leaves.
20. This one is blank because I accidentally put two for #19.
21. I prefer the New King James Version of the Bible.
22. I was baptized on the Fourth of July, 1983.
23. I have had 17 pets over the course of my life.
24. I was born in Louisiana, but moved to Texas at age 4.
25. I hate liver. I do not eat filters.
26. I had both of my children by planned c-section. I have never experienced labor pain.
27. I make a quilt for all new babies in the family.
28. I am the middle child. 2 years younger than my brother and 7 years older than my sister.
29. I like beer, but not wine.
30. I wanted football pads and a helmet for Christmas when I was in 6th grade.
31. I was a total tomboy.
32. I hate wearing high heels. I would wear jeans and a t-shirt all the time if I could get away with it.
33. I like the toilet paper to dispense over the top of the roll, not underneath.
34. Ditto for paper towels.
35. My favorite Glade holiday scent is Glistening Snow. I buy all the candles, Plug-ins and sprays so my house smells great all season long.
36. I am the photographer in the family, and as a result, my children will probably think that their father raised them single handedly since there are very few pictures of me with them.
37. Before I was married, I slept under a down comforter year round.
38. I hate making small talk with people I don't know.
39. Both of my grandfathers have passed away, but my grandmothers are still living.
40. I met my husband in 8th grade.
41. I can peel crawfish at an alarming rate.
42. I play the trombone and the piano.
43. I drive a Tahoe and it's the best vehicle that I have ever owned.
44. I have owned a Tempo, Camaro, Explorer and Taurus.
45. I have been to Italy.
46. I have not been to the West Coast.
47. I am totally hooked on Survivor. I anxiously await each new season and watch it every week.
48. I start listening to Christmas music around October.
49. I try to have all of my Christmas shopping done by December 1st.
50. Thinking of 100 things to say about myself is proving to be more difficult than I thought.
51. I went to Texas A&M University. (Whoop!)
52. The flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.
53. I love cinnamon swirl coffee.
54. I like to give handmade (or homemade cooked) gifts.
55. I had an Oscar the Grouch hand puppet that I was terrified of when I was about 4 years old.
56. My mom and dad made my brother let me play with his Bert puppet instead.
57. My brother and I used to turn my sister's doorknob around and lock her in her room when my parents left us in charge.
58. I don't have a middle name.
59. I have chili pepper red walls in my living room.
60. My thumbs are claustrophobic.
61. I have lived in a town called Pumpkin Center.
62. It's one of my favorite places on earth.
63. My son sleeps in the room that was mine when I was a child.
64. I like Puff's better than Kleenex.
65. Sometimes I take Lunesta to help me sleep.
66. I'm (sadly) allergic to Demerol.
67. I like to eat cream cheese plain.
68. I also like to pour strawberry jam over it and then spread it on graham crackers
69. I have never bought a purse that cost more than $50.
70. I love getting personal mail.
71. I have to sleep on the left side of the bed.
72. I love to read, and usually have 3 books going at one time.
73. Trevor and I have our own language strictly based on quotes from Tombstone and Steel Magnolias.
74. I never go shopping on Black Friday.
75. I have heard/seen parts of the movie Cars roughly 357 times, but have never sat down and watched it in it's entirety.
76. I burned the print off my thumb on a grill when I was two, and it cured me of sucking it.
77. I don't like people in my personal space unless I know them really, really well.
78. I had my first kiss in 8th grade.
79. He was one of my brother's friends.
80. I had a huge crush on him.
81. It never went anywhere.
82. He was a senior in high school.
83. I like to do things really fast (clean, talk, work) and get irritated with slow people.
84. I have been told that I need to slow down.
85. I miss my husband when he is gone to China on business, but love having the bed to myself.
86. My house is usually neat and clean, but if you open my closets stuff will fall on your head.
87. I didn't want to change my name when I got married. I liked my maiden name, but I got over it.
88. I am still a little scared of thunder.
89. I am allergic to wool, which isn't really a problem living here on the Gulf coast.
90. I can't tell you how relieved I am to be here at #90.
91. I am really proud of my scrapbook pages. One day I might even post them.
92. My children are the most beautiful children in the world.
93. I have above-average intelligence.
94. I am married to the absolute love of my life.
95. My favorite popcorn is Pop Secret Homestyle.
96. One of my favorite smells is freshly opened Play-Doh.
97. I started reading Stephen King novels the summer of my 5th grade year.
98. I have lived in 8 different cities.
99. I have lived in 17 different houses/apartments.
100. I thank God every day for His grace and mercy.
Everyone still awake? If you are still with me, thanks for hanging in there and reading down to the end of my list! Aren't you glad I didn't opt for 200 things?
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This morning I'm thankful. Thankful that because of generations of good cooking and warm kitchens, I have the ability to feed my family tasty meals and love doing it. Recipes were passed down and honored like prize possessions....Granny's chicken and cornbread dressing, Melody's yeast rolls, Granny's lemon icebox pie, Aunt Lula Mae's heavenly hash.
When all of these people are gone and what remains are memories of the time spent with them, all it will take is one bite and I will remember. I will remember the frantic phone calls to Granny about some detail of a recipe, and the long conversations with Mama in a warm kitchen as she taught me how to saute, fold and knead. I will forever remember the smell of my great-grandmother's kitchen and the way she would say, "Hey, hey, hey!" whenever anyone walked in the kitchen door (no one ever used the front door).
And although the memories will be entirely different, I hope that my children will feel the same way in 25 years when they are making Thanksgiving dinner for their own families. I hope that they will feel that same connection with their past that I do, and be thankful for it.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Okee-dokee then, here we go....
1. I am totally with Heather on this one....I do not share drinks with people. Period. It's nasty and gross and there is no way to gauge the ratio of their backwash to actual beverage, so it's not worth the gamble. I also don't share ice cream products (malts, shakes, cones, etc) with anyone. If it's possible, that's even grosser than sharing a drink.
2. My thumbs are claustrophobic. If you want to send me into hysterics, just grab my thumbs and hold them. My husband discovered this when we were in, oh, junior high, and he has used it many times over the last 22 years to terrorize me. I protect my thumbs at all costs, and often wake up with them tucked safely in my fists as though some thumb grabbing fiend were lurking nearby as I slept.
3. Hot breath really grosses me out. Like the kind when someone whispers in your ear and leaves it slightly wet because of their breath. Ewww. Let me say it again. Ewww. I don't even like for my husband to breathe on me unless (how to put this delicately?) I am otherwise distracted. So if you meet me in person and desperately need to tell me a secret in public and you don't want anyone else to hear....write it on a napkin or something.
4. I will pick up roaches, snakes, lizards and all manner of bugs and reptiles, but I am reduced to a emotional state of a slasher flick victim if a spider gets within 25 feet of my person. Seriously guys....I've had my 6 year old kill spiders for me. How sad is that?
5. I have to put my own groceries on the conveyor belt at the grocery store (I've run off overly helpful employees before). It's important that all the boxes go together, all the dairy, all the cans, etc. I know...it's a sickness, but I can't help it.
6. If I make a mistake in my journal, I have to tear out the entire page and start over. I can't stand to have mistakes and scribbles all over the place.
7. I love to mow the grass. There is something deeply satisfying about the swath of fresh cut grass trailing behind me, ever widening as I make my way around the yard. I love the smell of the grass, and I love the way it looks as the sun is going down and the kids are out playing in the backyard.
Until I wrote them all down in one place, I didn't realize how neurotic I am. My poor, poor husband! Anyway, as per the instructions I am tagging 7 other people and the lucky winners are: Debra, Kellye, Karen, Kate, Leah, Faraja, and Lisa. If they still want to be friends with my neurotic self, that is.
As I sit here typing, there is a turkey roasting in the oven and 10 pounds of potatoes waiting to be peeled, cooked and mashed for the church-wide Thanksgiving dinner tonight. I've just had one of those weeks where I couldn't seem to catch my breath. We had revival Sunday through Wednesday night, and that was a challenge in itself with bedtimes and homework, and Nathan seemed to have about 32 Thanksgiving/ Pilgrim/Indian themed projects all due last week or tomorrow.
We are trying to get the house in shape for Christmas house guests (which takes up every spare minute on Saturday) and then we had a birthday party last night. Don't get me started on the way my children behaved there! Suffice it to say that we left early.
Then there was Sunday School to teach this morning, and children's church to prepare and lead. After that, we went out to lunch with the dear friends that we ditched last night because of the kids. But not before I ran home, took the turkey out of the brining solution, stuffed the cavity with onions and apples and threw the bird in the oven. I met them at the restaurant and had a lovely mid-day meal of nachos.
Whew! Are you tired of hearing the whining, because frankly, I'm tired of being the whiner. It's a new week starting tomorrow, and guess what? In spite of the craziness, it all got done last week! I also have Thursday to look forward to not going to work and having a great day with Trevor's family.
So today I'm thankful that the whining is over and that I have a whole new week to find things to (whine) be thankful about!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
The sermon tonight at evening worship was on forgiveness. Here is some food for thought:
Recall the scene at the cross. What is arguably the best remembered thing Christ said from the cross? "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Even Christ had to forgive those who persecuted and tortured Him before God the Father could accept His sacrifice.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
Is there someone you need to forgive today? Is there a situation that you feel is so far gone that it is beyond the scope of your ability to forgive? That may be true, but it is never beyond God's ability. If we truly have a broken and contrite heart, God will soften our hearts to allow us to be filled with a spirit of forgiveness and love.
Our sin separates us from God. When we are unwilling to let go of bitterness and past hurts, we are sinning.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
Let go of the past. Be thankful for the present. Look forward to the future.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I drove back home and took down all of the Halloween decorations (yes, I realize that it is the second week of November...sue me), emptied the dishwasher and did some light cleaning before it was time to go meet Nathan for lunch. It was well worth the day off to see his eyes light up when he saw me waiting for him by the cafeteria, and to hear him proudly announce to his classmates that I was his mommy. I personally think that one of the best things about being a mom is the unconditional love and pride that my children bestow on me. No matter how much I weigh, how little make-up I am wearing, or how frumpy my clothes are, they still think I am great.
Anyway, I had a wonderful turkey lunch with my son and then I went directly to Walmart for a little holiday shopping. I ran into my good friend Ali and we spent some time shopping together and chatting. I finally made my way home (after a stop at the farmer's market, the store to get favors for Nathan's Christmas party next month and the local florist) and had a few minutes to sit and check my email and all the blogs I absolutely must see on a daily basis. Before long, it was time to go pick Nathan and Grace up and then we went home and played out the in backyard for about an hour. Well, they played and I raked up the leaves and chipped wood from last weekend's activities. (All the while thinking of Alana!)
As I watched them playing in the dwindling autumn light, I felt so content and happy for the blessings of the day. This would be my life if I was able to stay home with the kids instead of working outside of the home. I realize that things would be different if I was a SAHM because I would have Gracie with me all day and there would have to be way more structure to my time, but I still think it would be a wonderful thing. All the cleaning, projects I want to get done around the house and the cooking would be my job and not just the additional job that I have to cram into the evening hours and the entirely too short weekends after I leave the paying gig.
Yes, the paying gig that keeps a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. We are working on being better stewards of our financial resources, so who knows? Maybe my SAHM dream will come true in the not so distant future.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Oh, if only this sign were true......
1. Have you ever found yourself 'in faith' yet bewildered or demoralized? There have definitely been times that I wanted to give up because the situation seemed like too much work and that it would never get better anyway. It was during those times that I devoted myself even more to prayer and a closer, more intimate relationship with God.
2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content? I think that I am a very content person. Whether it is decidedly or dreamily depends on what area of my life we are talking about. If we are talking about my marriage and children, then dreamily content. All it takes is the thought of one of them to bring a smile to my face and a little thrill to my chest. Other areas such as extended family, some aspects of work and even my current church life would have to be described as decidedly content. I've discovered over the course of my life that things could always be worse, and the only thing to do with a bad situation is to deal with it. Wallowing in self-pity and discontent just makes it worse. This is certainly not say that I don't do my share of ranting and raving about my problems, but usually I just need to vent and then I get over it.
3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling? Whoo hoo! I get a Free Parking card on this one....see answer to #2.
4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by? Unfortunately, I'm sure that there were many times over the years that I missed out on a chance to witness or demonstrate the love of Christ because of my own disobedience. I spent many years between high school a having a family of my own actively fighting the urging of the Holy Spirit. I knew I was being rebellious, but I was too deeply entrenched in my own sin and lifestyle to stop. I think of all the relationships that I had and how many times those people were put directly in my path, and I felt unable to witness because of my own sin and the distance that I had put between myself and God.
5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now? I think that my faith is stronger now than it has ever been. I've had such an awakening over the last 9 months, and it has been amazing.
6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of "I Was"? I can look back and see that my season of rebellion prepared me for my current season of grace. My own disobedience taught me that no matter what my sin, true repentance always brings me right back to the cross. It has helped me to stifle my own tendency to judge, because I know that without the mercy and grace of God, I could be back in that place in a heartbeat.
If you would like to read more about the I AM study, click here.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So I was packing Nathan's lunchbox last night, and looked up to see Gracie soundly spanking her Dora doll with the wooden "spanky spoon" that we use for discipline.
As a matter of fact, I had just spanked her less than an hour before for jumping off the hearth after I told her not to and gave her the consequences if she chose to disobey me. She chose to disobey me and so she got a swat on the leg with the spanky spoon. It does not require a very hard swat to get the message across which is why I prefer to use it.
Anyway, I walked into the living room and asked her why she was spanking Dora. I explained that the only reason for spanking was for disobedience. She thought for a moment, and then said, "She jumped off the fireplace." I agreed that in light of her disobedience, she needed to be disciplined, but reminded her that it was important to hold Dora and let her know that she still loved her.
The reason I post this is because when I first saw Grace spanking her doll with a spoon, I was horrified. Horrified that my daughter would hit her doll and worried that I was doing something damaging to her psyche by holding to the biblical principle of loving discipline. But after some thought, this question came to my mind: Isn't this what is supposed to happen? I teach my children appropriate discipline, and they model it in the only way they know how by role playing. Don't I want my children to understand what it is to lovingly and firmly maintain obedience and respect authority? How will they respect and submit to God's authority if they have no earthly model?
So the next time I see Nathan or Gracie spanking a beloved stuffed animal or doll I will remember that they are modeling parenting skills that I want them to take with them into adulthood. I don't want them to see discipline as unfair and arbitrary, but as an expression of my love, and by extension, God's love for them.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm not really much of a book on tape/cd kind of girl (I prefer good old-fashioned books), but I know someone who would love these so I'm entering on her behalf. Or maybe I'll just donate them to our church library...who knows? I feel like I do when I daydream about being left a fortune and I have all of it spent or given away before I come to my senses and realize that it was just a happy thought! Strangely enough, I tend to feel a little let down after one of these episodes as if I lost something! How bizarre is that?
Monday, November 5, 2007
Like my father before me, I have no issue with turning the air conditioner down as low as it will go in order to have a fire burning in the fireplace. I can't tell you how many Christmas mornings I spent riding my new bike or playing with my new toys in shorts and a t-shirt. But rest assured, there was a seasonal fire burning away inside! My husband does not share this sentiment, so fires in our home do not get lit until the outside temperature dips below 50.
(Just kidding, baby! You know I love you more than my luggage!)
Anyway, back to the original train of thought...what was it again? Oh yeah, we split and stacked firewood Saturday. Now don't get too impressed with a visual of me wielding an axe...we used a hydraulic splitter. (Thank the good Lord for technology!) Trevor heaved the logs up on to the platform and I operated the machine. It really satisfied my OCD tendencies to see the big logs neatly broken down into manageable pieces that we then stacked neatly in the wood rack.
It wasn't really the splitting that did me in, it was the stacking. The bending down, picking up and throwing the wood at the stack for Trevor to arrange neatly was not hard at the time, but I sure felt it Sunday morning! So, once again I am resolving to get in shape and lose this extra weight. Life has become ridiculous when a 35 year old woman can't do mildly strenuous work outside without feeling like a medium sized freight train hit her. And that's all I have to say about that!