Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm a Lotus Elise!



You believe in maximum performance and minimum baggage. You like to travel light and fast, hit the corners hard, and dance like there's no tomorrow.


"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Give-Away!


There's this FABULOUS bag being given away at 5 Minutes for Mom. Go check it out! I would LOVE to win this one!

The way they do things here is annoying....

WARNING: Rant enclosed

Some days, a girl just has to complain...

I know we're the new kids in town. I understand this. We've been down this road before. However, some things just are NOT acceptable...or wierd....or just plain illogical.

We're in the middle of trying to get our oldest son tested to see if we can get him some help in school. He's always had problems with reading, and in fifth grade, it is causing issues with Social Studies and Science...in other words, he's failing those two subjects. I met with the teacher, the school counselor, the vice-principal, and about 5 other people whose positions I have forgotten. Throughout that meeting, it was repeatedly stated that every help would be given to him, to give him the chance to succeed. Now, almost a month later, first, none of the testing has happened yet. Second, his grades have gotten worse. Third, this child came home with a 70 on a test....2 days later, I got an email from the teacher saying that he was given a chance to bring the grade up, and didn't do it. When I question said child, he was unaware of that...it seems that the teacher made that offer when my son was out of the room, and when my son said something to the teacher about it, the teacher told him, "Tough. You're too late now." HUH?!? THIS is giving my child EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED?!? Another instance of issues with this teacher...my son accidentally did some homework early, handed it in to the teacher's assistant, yet the teacher gave my son a ZERO on that piece of homework...even though the teaching assistant reminded the teacher that the work WAS done. Every contact I have had with this teacher has resulted in my feeling like this teacher thinks that WE are not doing pushing our son hard enough...I have come away feeling like the teacher thinks that if only WE did more, our son would be doing better. SOOOOO.....I called the school last night, and talked with the vice-principal. I let her know that I am NOT happy with how things are going. I am NOT happy with the way the teacher treats my son, nor how he treats me...and I am SERIOUSLY not happy with the fact that he was not given the same opportunity to bring his grade up that the rest of the class was given. I was civil. I was even understanding of the delays, but I did let her know that I want to see SOMETHING change. She promised to go talk to the teacher immediately, and also to call me back, and let me know what the plan will be. Now, we wait again.

This is killing me. I KNOW my son has problems. He has had problems since he started school. His father has always had reading difficulties, and at least 3 people in my family have learning issues, so I DO understand how it works...I also have a background in working with people with learning difficulties. I know there are compensations that CAN and SHOULD be made to help my son. I am NOT seeing any of that happening yet. He has been going steadily downhill since getting into this class....since starting in this new school. He was keeping his head above water...actually making B's and C's in the school in Montana. I do NOT believe that the work is here THAT much more difficult. However, I don't know what else we can do to help him. We do NOT have extra money for Sylvan or whatever other tutoring programs are available here. We keep him in after school every day....he gets to go out to play on the weekends, but school days are dedicated to school work. I go over EVERYTHING with him. He does GREAT it math...he's making A's in math....B's in WRITING, and D- and F in Social Studies and Science.

Okay, so we DO have 4 other children in school. Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 4th grade, and 8th grade. Everyone else is doing GREAT. The 8th grader is in band, and the band festival is this week...tonight they have their performance and sight-reading. She looks SO good in her "penguin suit!" So (sniff, sniff) grown up.... next year is HIGH SCHOOL....SO not ready for THAT! So, the band festival...tonight, at a different middle school. At 6:00 pm. I don't know how to get there, we always have something else on Friday night, and I am going to have to bring the rest of my kids along....which means that I won't be able to go into the sight-reading, because non-adults are not welcomed to that part...WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?

This is symptomatic of the attitude of the schools here, in a HUGE military community, toward military families. They SHOULD understand that military families won't always have the cash to get a babysitter, or even have the spouse along, and that schools in other parts of the country do not necessarily do things the "bass-ackwards" way that things are done here. I am seriously contemplating taking at least one of my children out of these schools. If some changes are not made SOON, I will be discussing this with my husband, because nothing matters more than giving my son the chance to succeed....and it looks to me like the school is NOT doing that for him.

Alright...need to drop this for now....I have work to do....I DO have a job...nevermind what that *)&^% teacher thinks of me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #8


Thirteen Reasons I am glad to live in the South East (again!)

1. Sweet Ice Tea

2. Humidity

3. HOSPITALITY

4. Green grass and trees

5. Restaurants (Chick-fil-A, Fuddruckers, BoJangles, etc.)

6. Proximity to "home"

7. People who understand my use of "ya'll"

8. People who know how to spell "ya'll"

9. People who know how to make sweet tea.

10. Churches on every corner

11. My skin loves the humidity

12. People who understand HOSPITALITY

13. People who practice HOSPITATILITY


I have loved living on other areas of the country...I just really

missed the South East, and am very glad to be back here!!



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Irritated rant coming

I spent WAY too much time last night at the clinic on base. I got a call yesterday from the nurse at the elementary school...this is one of the things I hate most about having children in public school. It seems that the rash on the 5-year-old's face is impetigo, and that she (the nurse) would have to have a note from the doctor before the kindergartener would be allowed back in school. GRR.... NOT something I've ever had to deal with before....

So, in order to get to see a doctor, you show up at the base clinic when their "open" hours start...here, it is 16:00, or in terms that regular people understand, 4:00 pm. I left the house a little early, so we'd get there right AT 4:00....despite doing that, there was already a HUGE line ahead of us. We were triaged within about 20 minutes....and then sat there for about another 2 hours and 40 minutes before being taken back to see the doctor. All he did was look at her, and say, yes, that is impetigo, and I am going to give her an antibiotic and cream.

WHY?!? Why did it have to take so FREAKING LONG...they KNEW it was just a rash, and that was all he'd have to do. We had plans last night...2 different things. It NEVER should have taken 3 hours to get her back to see the ONE doctor they had on call. It was ridiculous. It took a total of *4* hours to get back to the house. For impetigo. My Doctor in Montana would have called in a prescription from my description over the phone....or, if I DID have to bring her in, we'd have been in and out the door in less than 1 hour.

Almost every contact with the clinic here has been horrible. No wonder there are so many openings for patients there. They chase people away with the way they treat us. I SO want to change us all to having our Primary Care Provider being a civilian....will have to look into it...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Word Cloud



I got this idea from Barb over at A Chelsea Morning...it is interesting to see what I've been talking about....seems that thirteen and installment and family and church are coming up at some of my most-often-mentioned words. Family and church are such central themes in my life...and my weekly themes play on those other two items, all the time! If you want to try it, go here and click on "custom".

Crazy Eights Meme

I was tagged by ProjectMommy to do CrazyEights...so here ya have it.....

8 Things I’m passionate about

being home with my children
my family's health
breastfeeding
supporting military families
my marriage
my church family
support of young moms
freedom in Christ



8 Things I want to do before I die

own a house
have the kind of dog that I want
own a horse
adopt a baby
go on a missions trip
own a sports car
see my children married to godly spouses
hold my grandchildren


8 Things I often say

"stop that!"
"where is your homework?"
"are you ready to go yet?"
"come clean up this mess"
"BE QUIET!"
"patience, patience...."
"I just wanna curl up in a corner somewhere...."
"it's not snack time yet."

8 Books I’ve recently read or currently am reading


Just finished......

Inside the Kingdom, by Carmen Bin Ladin









currently reading......
Woman First, Family Always, by Kathryn Sansone










A Table in the Presence, by Lt. Carey H. Cash






Moses, by Charles R. Swindoll








Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul, by John and Stasi Eldredge








Next on the "to read again" list....

mom, you make a difference, edited by Elisa Morgan








Faith is Not a Feeling, by Ney Bailey









Silver Boxes: The Gift of Encouragement, by Florence Littauer











8 Songs I could listen to over and over

I can only imagine, by MercyMe






Josh Turner's Would You Go With Me
(every time I watch that video, I cry...)




MercyMe, So Long Self













God Bless the USA, by Lee Greenwood















Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (Angry American)









The Judd's Grandpa, Tell Me 'bout the Good Old Days






Trans-Siberean Orchestra's Christmas Eve Sarejevo






Trans-Siberean Orchestra's This Christmas Day








8 Things that attract me to my best friends
Honesty
Openness
Hospitality
Shared faith
Shared Values
Generosity
Love of Children
Willing to put up with me, and all my idiosyncrasies

8 People I think should do Crazy 8s

Wendy at The Adventures of MomLady
Baby-amore at My Little Drummer Boys
SuchSimplePleasures
Tasha at Party of Six
Stacey at JameeForever
Queen to my 3 Boys
pb&j in a bowl
Mrs. SSgt at Married to the Military


Good luck, everyone, and have fun with it!!!







Monday, February 25, 2008

Artistic, anyone?


What type of Mother Hen Are You?
by Montessorimom.com: Educational Resource

Suggestions Needed


I just realized that I am getting close to 100 posts, and that I needed to get working on my "100 things" post. But, that is HUGE, overwhelmingly huge. WAY too much to come up with all on my onlyness....so, I need some help...


Should I:


  1. do 100 random facts about myself?

  2. do a chronological history, in 100 easy steps?

  3. answer 100 questions about myself?

I have approximately 18 days (more or less) until I reach the 100 mark, so I need to have an answer to this very pressing question this week. PLEASE let me know what you think? I will post the consensus next Monday, and we'll go from there....


THANKS for your help!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Memories (installment 9)

The church I grew up in is good, theologically, for the most part. The basics are there. The Bible is the Word of God, inspired, infallible. God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit make up the Trinity, and the only way to Heaven is to accept the free gift of salvation provided by the death and resurrection of the Son of God.


Once you get past those basics, however, you run into a few snags.


My parents were married in a Presbyterian church. I even remember attending a Presbyterian church...we probably left there sometime when I was around 5 years old. My mom's background is Presbyterian. My dad grew up attending a Moravian church (you can find out more information about the Moravians here). Sometime in my young life, my parents decided that they didn't like the direction the Presbyterian church was heading, and started on their church hunt. I vaguely remember visiting a Southern Baptist church, and then somehow we ended up going to a Mennonite church (to learn about the evolution of the Mennonite church to here).



Today, there are a LOT of different variations of Mennonites, but I just want to write about the church that I grew up attending. Actually, attending is too loose of a word for the Mennonite culture. One of the first things we learned is that being a Mennonite is an all-inclusive way of life. We attended the Mennonite Church, we kids went to the Mennonite school, all of our social activities revolved around our Mennonite friends, and the church rules governed our whole lives.



Rules, rules everywhere. Somewhere I still have the booklet from our church that lists all of the requirements. There were a lot of things that are common across denomonational lines....at least many....smoking, drinking, extra-marital relations, etc., were "verbotin".



Then, there were the dress codes. For women they were NUMEROUS. Dresses only. No pants. No shorts. No capris. No skirts or blouses. But, not just any dresses...no, these were specially made, hand-sewn dresses, similar to what you see on me in my prior life as a college student. Yes, I made that one myself. I LOVED that dress. It was cool and hip...and just a little bit dangerous, because the repeat of the pattern on the material was larger than 1"...yes, there were even requirements about how large of a pattern the materials could have. That, and the dresses had to be a specific length. "Three inches below the knee, sitting or standing." Obviously, short, short skirts were out, but for some inexplicable reason, long skirts were also out. That was never explained to me.




Next, notice my head covering. Every woman (or girl over the age of about 12) was required to wear her hair up, in a bun, UNCUT, and covered by this specific style of head covering. Added to that, no makeup was allowed, and no jewelry...not even engagement/wedding bands.




The guys had relatively few dress requirements. T-shirts were okay, as long as there was nothing printed on them....no shirts advertising for anyone or anything. The suit coats that they wore had to be altered, to have what is commonly known as a "clerical collar", and they weren't "allowed" to wear a tie....which my father had no problem with, whatsoever!




Our activities were simple. The "youth group" was opened to singles from age 15 thru whenever said singles either got married or decided that they were too old to take part...occassionally as old as mid-30's. We got together at varying homes every Sunday night after church, and played board games, or card games like Rook or Dutch Blitz, or sometimes games like Flying Dutchmen or 3-Times Around. Monday night was Volleyball or Softball night, depending on the time of year. Wednesday night was prayer meeting night, and we got to hang out and talk afterwards. Thursday nights a group went to sing at a nursing home. Occassionally, we had get-togethers on Saturdays, and sometimes our Sunday activities started earlier in the day, since the 5th Sundays didn't have evening services.




Thinking about how I grew up is exhausting....keeping all the rules was all-consuming. Must go take out the contacts, and take a nap....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My day

Saturdays are CLEANING DAY. Today was especially busy, as we had family for dinner....our niece and nephew live here in town, and were able to bring their dad and spend some time with their cousins. However, we had to really catch up on the house....

...which meant that I missed out on Scrolling Saturday, and didn't get to go exploring thru all my bloggy friends' sites today. VERY sad.

...it also meant that my house looks GREAT!!! I LOVE having company, because my husband helps out with housework every time we have company coming. Last night, the kids had this discussion with thier dad about how overwhelmed they get with organization, and when he looked at me, I had to just shrug....I am NOT organized. HE is the organized member of this family. I am organizationally challenged, to say the least. Just thinking about organizing my house exhausts me. Nice thing...he decided that he had the time today, and helped the kids organize their rooms today...complete with labels on everything!

And now, the cousins have left for the night, and a couple of neighborhood kids are spending the night. Hubby has to be at church early in the morning, to help get everything set up, so I gotta get going early, and get myself, my 6 kids, and the 2 neighbor kids to church on time. Time for me to go, too, and spend some quality time with the hubby....reading while he watches NASCAR!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ya'll are THE BESTEST!!

(blatently stolen from Bloggy Awards)
I figured it out! All I have to do to get some lovin' is to post a whiney, fussy, complaining li'l post, and you guys so lovingly stroke my poor neglected ego! I <3 you guys!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm very sad....

...sad because I can't figure out all the cool bloggy things that are supposed to make this blog more fun, splashy, cool, and hip.....

I KNOW it needs *something*, but not sure what.

I've tried cool stuff...


And I've tried to add a feed....


 Subscribe in a reader



And the poor little things are getting NO love....

I tell you, it's sad....

Thursday Thirteen #7



I am having issues getting to the T-13 website this morning...don't know what is going on, but I don't like it. So, pulled an old header, and doing what I can....

In "honor" of what is happening in Berkley, CA, I have done a little research, and have come up with places those "honorable citizens" can go, since they obviously dislike our country so much. (All said very much tongue in cheek.)

  1. China...yes, you too can emigrate to China, and get as far from the US military as possible...but then, you may be conscripted into the Chinese military, and be forced to abort your child or give it up for adoption on threat of losing your livelyhood and home. A unique aspect of family life in China is the country's one-child policy, which has been enforced by the authorities since about 1978 and which restricts families in the cities to one child only. In the countryside, couples may try for a son if the first-born is a daughter, and exceptions are made for certain regions and minorities. Nevertheless, the one-child policy has had a profound effect on the relationship between parents and children, the status of women, marital prospects, education, urban planning and even the design of cars. (from Martin Frost's former site).
  2. France...France historically was always very critical towards the USA. One of the reasons, France lost its significance in the world on expense of the USA. Still until the end of XIX century Paris was dictating the fashion in the world, it was a center of the artistic life and the new political ideas. French language was the most common used language in the world. It all changed. I do not question the sincerity of French citizens in their critique towards Iraqi's war, but the truth is that French leaders were almost always opposing Americans policy. France did not want American planes to enter French airspace during the Gulf War. Jean-Pierre Chev�nement was "Ministre de la D�fense" before and during the first few days of the Gulf War in 1991. He was very vocal in his opposition to the war. He resigned on January 29, 1991. After his resignation president Mitterrand decided otherwise and finally the French airspace was open. In 1995 present French president, Jacques Chirac provoked quite many protests by unleashing his nuclear weapons testing program. So, French policy in general is not really so peace-oriented as they try to present themselves to the world right now. (from Attitudes towards the War - Europe ( France, Germany ) versus the USA on Iraq ).
  3. North Korea...When discussing the regime's control over the population of North Korea, many people cite the surveillance and monitoring capability of the large military and security service apparatus. While it is true that these organizations have their eyes and ears imbedded throughout the country, it is not these physical controls that give the regime its power over the population. The regime in North Korea derives the vast majority of its influence over the minds and hearts of the people through its absolute control and manipulation of all information made available to the local population. By controlling what a person hears, reads, and sees, one controls what he or she thinks and believes. (from Life Inside North Korea, by Andrew S. Natsios, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development)
  4. Saudi Arabia...try that one on...yes, the US military is there, but since most of the "protesters" in Berkeley are women, perhaps they'd like to try living in Saudi Arabia where they must get permission for every movement, and must never let any man see their face, or for that matter, any part of their skin. (read Inside the Kingdom, by Carmen Bin Ladin).
  5. Iraq...sure, go live there, see what life is like for Muslim men and women in a country formerly controlled by Muslim radicals. Before the war there was Widespread executions of prisoners and political opponents, Use of torture, Actions targeting Shi'a Muslims, and Actions against Kurds. Many Iraqi citizens, especially outside the urban areas, also suffered from the poor economy that followed years of war and then the isolation that resulted from Iraq's refusal to comply with weapon inspections and the United Nations' continuation of economic sanctions. Such isolation also arguably had an effect on Iraqi people's health and well-being. (from footnote Fahrenheit: Iraq)
  6. Afghanistan...another country struggling between "good government" and radical Muslim rule. Politics in Afghanistan has historically consisted of power struggles, bloody coups and unstable transfers of power. With the exception of a military junta, the country has been governed by nearly every system of government over the past century, including a monarchy, republic, theocracy and communist state. The constitution ratified by the 2003 Loya jirga restructured the government as an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, (executive, legislature and judiciary). (from Wikipedia)
  7. Colombia, South America....while not technically an "enemy country" of the US, the drug trade is such a huge part of the country that it is hugely dangerous to live there, even if you are native. Bombings targeting civilians are common and terrorism is a way of life for most citizens who have grown accustomed to the chaos. It has a high rating for kidnappings with ransoms, with businesspeople, tourists, journalists, and scientists being frequent targets, though no one is actually excluded from kidnappings. Colombia averages 47 murders a day in a nation of 45 million, giving it the crown of "Most Dangerous".(from Associated Content).
  8. Russia. In this crime-ridden, ex-Soviet state, no longer does the government stuff their Armani suits with rubles, but the vandals and gangsters. The Russian mafia runs amuck, there are more gangsters than police, and a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The nucleus of Russian crime is stationed in the Republic of Chechnya, a region within Russia just north of Georgia. Prostitution, drug trafficking, and underground restaurants are arbitrarily controlled by the Chechens. Foreigners are kidnapped more frequently due to the higher ransom allocated. Crimes towards include but are not limited to: pick pocketing wallets, cell phones, cameras, cash, and physical assaults. (from Associated Content).
  9. Venezuela. It has one of the highest gun-related deaths in the world, categorizing it as one of the most dangerous nations in Latin America and the world. (from Associated Content).
  10. Jamaica. Corruption and the wide-spread illegal drug trade contribute to the increasing numbers of assaults, robberies, and murders. The Jamaican law enforcement is weak and ineffective and the lower class has thing, stringy ties with family units, combining to create the resort to violence and theft. The first thing people usually see when they tune into the news at night, are reports of deaths.(from Associated Content).
  11. Syria...The government maintained its pressure on the country's fragile human rights movement through a combination of intimidation, criminal prosecution of leading activists, and imprisonment. Some human rights activists reported to Human Rights Watch that they had been "invited" by the political section of state security for discussions about their work. In addition, some of them said that internal security operatives sent oral messages, through intermediaries, threatening them with detention if they did not cease their activities. One prominent activist said that he was summoned for questioning on a regular basis. Despite the harassment, rights activists continued to issue public statements, speak to the press, and organize open meetings across the country, some of which internal security forces members attended. "We inform people through word of mouth. If we keep the numbers small, there is no harassment," one activist told Human Rights Watch.
    Syria remained a closed country for international human rights organizations. Amnesty International last had official access in 1997 and Human Rights Watch in 1995; the government did not reply to written requests for access from both organizations. (from Human Rights Watch World Report, 2003)
  12. Lybia....According to the U.S. Department of State’s annual human rights report for 2004, Libya’s authoritarian regime continued to have a poor record in the area of human rights. Some of the numerous and serious abuses on the part of the government include poor prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, prisoners held incommunicado, and political prisoners held for many years without charge or trial. The judiciary is controlled by the state, and there is no right to a fair public trial. Libyans do not have the right to change their government. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion are restricted. Independent human rights organizations are prohibited. Ethnic and tribal minorities suffer discrimination, and the state continues to restrict the labor rights of foreign workers. (from Wikipedia)
  13. Cuba...even though Fidel has stepped down, his presumptive successor is his BROTHER, who is not likely to change the very anti-US stance of our very close neighbor. However, if you have visions of a Carribean paradise, think again. Cuba is a poor country that is in the midst of a 46-year embargo by the US.

If the "honorable citizens" who seem so bent on protest could start protesting some of the conditions in the above-mentioned countries, perhaps some good would come out of their passion.

at 12:57 am, this is what my brain does....

48
Just think, what I could do with some sleep?!?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here we go 'round the Mulberry bush!

One of the disadvantages of having a larger-than-normal family is the fact that there are more people from whom you may "catch" the bugs going around. Multiply that times the number of people that each child contacts, and you have all kinds of possibilities to aquire all manner of illnesses during flu season.

So, at this moment, we have:
  1. the 14 year old who has been coughing and sniffing and nose-blowing for almost her allotted 2 weeks.
  2. the 4 year old, who almost certainly caught this from one of the older kids, since she almost never gets out, and has been miserable for the last 3 days....coughing, runny nose, watery eyes....poor baby
  3. the 8 year old who can be counted on to catch EVERYTHING
  4. Mom...who is not allowed to get sick, but has been for the last week or so.....

That's half of the family, right there....the helpful thing is that hubby almost NEVER catches anything...which is aggravating if you happen to be like me, and catch things, a LOT, and also aggravating if/when he finally succombs to the "Man Cold"....it's aweful....it's amazing....it's just plain FUNNY!




Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All kinds of online fun!!!

I am stoked. I was concerned (a little) about having to find the DMV to go get my driver's license renewed. Last time I had that done was when we lived in Texas. FIVE years ago. And TWO states ago. So, now we're in Virginia, and I REALLY did NOT intend to get a Virginia license. Just NOT going there. I INTENDED to get a Montana license before we left there....obviously THAT didn't happen. Then, I realized that my birthday was last week....and my license expired that fateful day. Did I REALLY want to DRIVE to the DMV with an expired license? Just in the nick of time, my buddies/neighbors reminded me that said service IS available ONLINE now!!! YIPPEE! I got my license RENEWED...My TEXAS license!! I have a handy-dandy paper receipt IN HAND until the new plastic one arrives. Can I just say....I LOVE this whole online thing!!!

So, more online goodies! Blonde Mom is doing a give-away... Handy Manny and Little Einstines DVDs! How cool is that? Go see her give-away....all you have to do is comment!

Also, there are a TON of other REALLY cool give-aways....check out the Snow Buddies DVD give-away at momsational.

In Other News....

Thanks to Amy at In Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for bringing this to my attention...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Today I am recovering....


WINTER JAM 08
2/17/2008
Constant Convocation Center
Norfolk, VA
Time: 6:00PM, Ticket Price: $10 @ Door - No Advance Ticket

Details: Winter Jam Tour Spectacular 2008

Recommended Arrival Time: 2-4 Hours Prior to Doors Opening

Doors open at 5:00PM

Pre-Show approx. 5:20PM

Lights Down approx. 5:55PM

Show Ends approx. 9:15PM

Check Out! www.jamtour.com .

For More Information: 757-683-4444

Venue Address:4320 Hampton BlvdNorfolk, VA 23529



Last night, I went with 2 of my kids and 30 parents and kids from our church to Winter Jam 08. Wow. An amazing mix of increadible (if loud) music, and great speakers, with 8,000 to 9,000 excited kids and parents. It was FUN!! Group1Crew, Barlow Girl, Mandisa, Mercy Me, Newsong (boy have they been around forever...they were touring when I was in college!), and a really great speaker named Tony Nolan. It was a BLAST, and I realized that I am getting OLD. I am not flexible, and I am tired. Concerts are fun, but those dang seats are small and close together....at least all the kids had fun....and my 2 that went....they recommitted their lives to the Lord....AND, we sponsored a kid through Holt International. Way cool. Way tired mom.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Memories (installment 8)

As most of my readers, we grew up before the advent of "green" anything. My parents WERE part of the original organic gardeners, even having a rooster that appeared on a cover of the original Organic Gardening Magazine. However, we were part of a community that thought very little of doing things organically, or "green", as it is known today.

When we lived on the dairy farm, we used chemicals to clean, and fed hormones to the cattle...that was just how things were done...if you wanted to maintain your "Class A" rating with the health department, you used sodium hypochlorite and acids to clean the equipment, and iodine and bleaches to clean the cows. Finding feed without the hormones was next to impossible. We did not spray our hay or silage, and certainly never put Sevin-dust on our gardens, though we had friends who did.

We also would get vegetables from our friends who planted "truck gardens". Gardens that were dusted with sevin-dust and sprayed for bugs. We got eggs from our own chickens...who mostly had scratch-feed, though who also got some commercially produced feed. We butchered our own beef, grass raised (by the way, pet peeve....just because beef is "certified Angus" does NOT mean it is any better than any other beef. Angus normally carries more fat on it than do other beef lines...it is MOSTLY a marketing ploy!), and hand butchered and carved, and ground....yes, my parents still own their hand-powered meat grinder. Let me tell you, that thing is HARD to turn!

However, as I mentioned, our friends and neighbors did NOT care so much about doing things in such a "green" manner. They DID use Sevin-dust and other pesticides and herbicides on their gardens. They used harsh cleaners in their homes and the church and school buildings. Strong perfumes, air fresheners, candles, deodorants, etc.... At our school, there were always strong chemical smells, Magic markers, dry-erase markers, white-out, scratch-and-sniff....you name it.

Somewhere along the way, my family started realizing that we had problems with all of those chemicals. My little brother started having nosebleeds at school....every day. I had headaches, every day, and I would come home crying from what was termed "growing pains." Our whole family would come home from church with headaches, sore joints, and basically feeling like we had the flu. This got exponentially worse when our church put new carpet in both the church building and in the school building. I also had severe problems with my skin while we were living at the dairy...constant cracked, bleeding, and blistery fingers....year round. At college, the school was remodelling the dorms and some of the classroom buildings, and I was treated by the nurse for "shin splints" with 6 weeks on crutches (huh?), and taking huge doses of ibuprofin.

Then, during my freshman year in college, we went to visit a new-to-us doctor called an environmental allergist. Finally, someone who recognized that people *could* actually have problems with chemical sensitivities. We went through two days of testing. I came away from that realizing that my life was going to be different. I learned that I was sensitive to "aldehydes"...naturally occuring, as well as those found in common chemical compounds....formaldahyde is found in almost every cleaner, new carpet, fabric, piece of clothing, and definitely in the "plug-ins" and spray deodorizers. Naturally occurring "aldehydes" are in apples and pineapples....very sad for me...I LOVE pineapple anything..... I also found out that I have problems with sulfites. As many are probably aware, hotdogs have long been known to be ladened with sulfites. Most are NOT aware, however, that most bananas and grapes in this country are also sprayed with sulfites. The banana thing was not too much of a problem to me...I can't stand the smell, taste, texture of them.....but grapes(!) was such a hard one....I LOVE green, seedless grapes. We found 1 source of grape juice that did NOT have sulfites....Welches RED grape juice.

Alright, big changes. No more purfumes, colognes, air fresheners, smelly candles, potpourri, smelly lotions, hair spray, smelly soaps, smelly clothes detergents, fabric softeners, and limiting (as much as possible) all exposure to the above, plus gas fumes, diesel fumes, pesticides, new carpets, new fabrics, paint fumes, cigarette smoke (including such fumes eminating from the clothing and skin of smokers), adhesives.....it was a HUGE change. We learned in a hurry how to clean with vinegar, baking soda, and water. We learned which products were okay to use, and which we'd better NEVER come into contact with (like Tide laundry soap....horrible....and fabric softeners.....). We learned what foods helped our bodies "cleanse", and which made things worse.

Fast forward a few years. After some time of limiting exposures, my body was less sensitive to some of those things. Now, I can occassionally have grapes or pineapple, or apple. I still won't have bananas. I try to clean with "greener" cleaners, but I can handle some of the milder cleaners. I still get migraines from exposures to cigarette smoke, air fresheners, and strong colognes. My skin still goes numb when I come into contact with fabric softeners. My joints hurt when I spend too much time in malls, or stores with lots of new fabrics.

I feel very fortunate. One of the fears was that my chemical sensitivities would render me unable to have children....we've definitely disproved that one! I do have friends whose sensitivities are MUCH worse than mine. We also have friends who have not acknowledged their chemical sensitivities, nor made any changes to their lifestyles....and they have ended up very disabled.

I am very grateful for the changes in attitude toward "green" alternatives in building, cleaning supplies, and more healthy eating. That change in attitude has made things easier for me to find supplies I can use. It has also made it easier for me to explain my sensitivities to people I come in contact with.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Things NOT to say to a military wife/girlfriend

Things NOT to say to a military spouse or girlfriend.. (#14 is thebest!)



1. "Aren't you afraid that he'll be killed?"

(This one ranks in at number one on the "duh" list. Of course we'reafraid. We're terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds ---but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they're scared of dying.)



2. "I don't know how you manage. I don't think I could do it."

(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here's why: it's not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we'd get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We're not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)



3. "At least he's not in Iraq."

(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening inAfghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)



4. "Do you think he'll get to come home forChristmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/familyreunion, etc?"

(Don't you watch the news? No! They don't get to come home for any of these things. Please don't ask again.)



5. "What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he's gone?"

(Short answer: Trying to keep my sanity. For those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don't get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.)



6. "How much longer does he have until he can get out?"

(This one is REALLY annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren't counting down the days until they "can" get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)



7. "This deployment shouldn't be so bad, now that you're used to it."

(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you've gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. Butit never gets "easy" and the bullets and bombs don't skip over our guys just because they've been there before. The worry never goes away.)



8. "My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you're going through."

(OK. Do NOT equate your husband's three week trip toLondon/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do NOT feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty ford taurus with mercedes convertible. )



9. "Wow you must miss him?"

(This one also gets antoher big "duh". Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they're now divorced.)



10. "Where is he exactly? Where is that?"

(I don't expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Provinceon a map, but they should know by now that it's in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada alSadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they're on the news every night and in the papers every day ---and on maps everywhere.)



11. "Well, he signed up for it, so it's his own fault what everhappens over there."

(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn't sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that "You're welcome." He's still fighting for your freedom.)



12. "Don't you miss sex! I couldn't do it!"

(hmmm, no i don't miss sex. i'm a robot. seriously... military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most 'normal' relationships probably couldn't withstand 12 months of sex deprivation. )



13. "Well in my opinion..... "

(Stop right there. Yo, I didn't ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in thegrocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a bar when I'm out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we're trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.)



last but not least....



14. "OH, that's horrible...I' m so sorry!"

(He's doing his job and he's a badass. Don't be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)



(borrowed from a friend...thanks, Lily!)

Scrolling Saturday, Edition 6




From one of my other blogs, from April 20, 2005...This was when I was working overnights at Walmart, and was still homeschooling my children...I was a little bit insane.




It's cold here today...okay, so cold is a relative term...it's been cooler today than it was for the last week, or so...right now it is 40F. We even had a chance of snow. It only rained, and was overcast all day. I thought that was something I left behind when we left south Texas.

It was a GOOD day. Got up, got tea, breakfast, and got all the laundry folded and put away, plus washed the rest of what was dirty. The whole house was picked up(gotta vacuum sometime tomorrow!!), the 3 year old decided that she WANTED to go in the potty...what an amazing development...I was beginning to think she'd be taking diapers to college with her! Got the 3 oldest doing school work...you know, the thing that amazes me the most is that they have initiated having the oldest teach the other 2 piano lessons. I am almost beyond speechless. THIS IS HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK! I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!!

Stacy came over today with the 5 monsters...her 2 and the 3 that she babysits. Had to "tomato-stake" the Dillon-Monster. He just doesn't listen to Stacy any more...but then neither do her older 2 children.... We had a really good visit...since Dillon was sitting with us in the kitchen, he didn't get into anything, and the others played together really well. We also went over the second chapter of the book study we are doing...The Excellent Wife. I hope it is helping her some.

Got an email from Liz today...she said that Cynthia (from the Women's Retreat) donated a book for me to be able to do the Bible study that is starting tomorrow. Checked my schedule...I think I can do it...something else to fit in, but it should work...especially since we are so close to the end of the school year for the kids. Also have a WIC appointment tomorrow afternoon, and I need to get a nap before I have to go to work tomorrow night.

I called the Doctor yesterday, to ask him to go ahead with the referral on the 7 year old's scar tissue on her chest. Hoping to hear back from him soon. I'm a little nervous about it, but don't want her to have to deal with scars, especially during her teen years, if she doesn't have to. Hopefully we can get Tricare to pay!!!

Lance came by tonight, with M...the lady whose family he is staying with. I think they are good for him...hubby still thinks that he needs to end up in jail, so he'll get a clue. At least he is TRYING again, instead of giving up/wanting to commit suicide. Most of the time when he says stuff, I wonder why he needs so much attention? I don't understand how all of his labels interact with each other. I feel for his parents, but I DO think that he feeds off of their anger/anxiety/frustration. More stuff to pray about!!!

Still trying to decide who to invite with me to the Women of Faith conference next month in Billings. I don't think that Stacy needs to go right now...she needs more to work on her relationship with her hubby...but I don't want to hurt her if I don't invite her. Am leaning toward asking Kaci...I know that don't have a lot of money right now, and I think it would probably be nice for her. Also had a couple of others on the list, but don't think that they would be able to get away right now. Still thinking/praying about it.

Had a GREAT study with Delma tonight. I LOVE doing the study with her...she's SO down-to-earth. I come away with all kinds of practical applications to use...how to love my hubby, how to help my kids feel special. Really starting to feel at home with her.

Alright, going to have to quit for now...it's 1:15am, and I probably ought to go to sleep, since I'm going to that study tomorrow...even if I AM working tomorrow night!

LATER...

I signed off, and went to fold Stacy's towels (she brings laundry over, cause they don't have a washer), and I realized that I never wrote anything about actually BEING NICER to my kids. Oh, dear. Also realized that I had a story to tell.....

So, the study tonight with Delma was the second installment of the section on loving my children. Made me really wonder how my kids view me. I scream at them, I hound them, I discipline them...how often am I *really* nice to them? Do they see ME as a mean mom, the way I often viewed my own mom? I HOPE NOT! I don't want to be just a functional mom...cleaning, cooking, washing clothes, insisting on baths and clean clothes, but not filling their emotional and spiritual needs.

Going to try doing some new things with them. I ordered Keys for Kids online, again today. I don't know what happened last time, but I never got the book. This time I got 2 emails, confirming my order. Hopefully it works! Wanna start doing devotionals with them each morning...also praying with them, and for them.

Also want to start having Special "K" nights....special kid...one per week, or one every couple of weeks...have a special plate, a LITTLE gift, make it special. Definitely going to start with the oldest...she really gets a LOT of responsibility put on her, and I want her to know how much I appreciate what she does.

Can't think of anything else to do with them right now...Elizabeth George's suggestion was to work on ways to make the mundane special. A little harder to do with 6 kids than it would have been when we only had 2...but definitely something I need to work on!

Alright, a story...

Got back from Delma's sometime around 8:15pm...watched a little of Nashville Star, then went in to say goodnight to the girls (the boys were already sleeping). Walked into the girls' room and smelled nail polish. hmmmmm....why do I smell nail polish? (the light is off) The oldest answers..."oh, L-(3yrold) got into my nail polish, and painted her toes on the bottom bunk." So, the light goes on....so mom can see what the damage is...and I inspect the offending toes. She REALLY painted her toes...not just the toe nails, but the whole toes, on both feet...BRIGHT RED. Got a little on the bedspread...not too bad. You have to understand that last time she got into the nail polish (dark purple), she painted her chest, her legs, her hands, her arms, and 2 or 3 spots on the floor....She's DEFINITELY improving!!! and someday this will be hilarious!!!

Going to bed now!


And if you made it all the way through that, I'm impressed! If you'd like to go see more Scrolling Saturday, go here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

School Wars


I am learning things about public education that I never thought I would have to learn. I grew up going to a church-run school. I graduated from high school there, and went to a small college. I had absolutely NO experience with public education. I went to private school. All my friends went to private school.


My husband grew up going to one private school, and transferred to another one for high school. He also went to the small college. All of his friends also went to private schools.


We fully intended to homeschool our children. But, life happened. We needed more money than hubby could make, and I went to work, which meant I wasn't able to be home to school the kids. Our eldest was put into kindergarten and then 1st grade in a public school. It was an excellent school, with small classes, good teachers, and a Japanese teacher who came in and taught the kindergarteners Japanese! We moved a couple of months into that school year, and put her into another school, where my brother worked. She went there for 5 months, and we moved again. Three schools in one year's time?!? I don't think so. I can do this. I homeschooled for the 2 1/2 years we were in Texas. During that time, we added in 2 more children that were school aged, and I worked with them, teaching them all the beginning basics.


We moved to Montana, and I homeschooled them there for the first year. Then I had to go back to work, and couldn't manage homeschooling and working nights. Somehow Mama had to stay sane. By this time, the eldest was going into 6th grade, #2 was going into 3rd, and #3 was going into 2nd. The middle school was no problem. The elementary school really was good.


Child number 2 ("number 2" from The Kids Next Door) had problems reading. He had fought me on EVERY thing we did. I despaired of him ever learning to read. I clung to the notion of the "light bulb moment" that often comes for boys around 5th grade. I still do. That child was reading on a kindergarten level when he entered 3rd grade. During that year, the school paid for a Sylvan Learning Center teacher to work with him (and others). He progressed amazingly. During that year, he went from a kindergarten reading level, all the way to a 3rd grade level. I was amazed and VERY grateful. There was NO WAY we'd have been able to pay for Sylvan on our own!


Fourth grade went okay. No bad grades. Some bad attitudes, but those come and go.


Fifth grade, we moved in November. No more teachers who knew him. No more Sylvan. New school district. New expectations. New teachers.


This year has been a challenge for #2. He has not understood what the new teachers expected of him. He has dealt with classmates who decided they didn't like him because he was new. We just got his first report card from this school, and he is making Ds in Reading, Social Studies, and Science (he's making As in Math!--like father, like son!). The school asked for a conference with us, and are planning on doing testing on him, to see what can be done to help him.


Of course, through all of this, I am questioning myself. Did I somehow fail him? Is the teacher's attitude toward me (that *I* should be doing more with him now than I already am) right? Is this our fault? If we pulled him back out of school, and homeschooled him again, would he do better? Should we try to scrape together the money to pay for Sylvan or something similar?


And the guilt....oh, the guilt. I don't want him to fail. I don't want him to develop some kind of complex about his intelligence. This kid is brilliant. We know that. He KNOWS the materials. He's just not doing well on their busy work and the way that they test him. How to change that?!?


And then, there are the comparisons. I know kids do this. I did it. My brothers did it. My husband did it. Kids always compare themselves to their siblings, friends, classmates. So, #1 child is the best student in the family. She loves school, and thrives. She was devestated that she made B's on things during the semester of school when we moved. Then there's #3...she does well in school, too. She's in 4th grade, and is the VERY artistic child in the family. She also makes mostly As....as do #4 and #5.... I don't want #2 to feel that he's less loved, or somehow less valued because his grades aren't on the same level.


So, where does this leave me? What CAN I do that will make a difference for him? What do you guys think?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6


Thirteen Things I love



1. Coffee, in bed, or already made for me...but I'm a bit of a coffee snob...no more straight Folger's....oh, no...MUST have my fresh-ground Millstone Decafinnated Vanilla Bean Coffee, mixed half and half with the regular-strength Folger's coffee...'cause a girl's gotta have some caffiene to get her through the day! Once I got her trained, my eldest daughter makes REALLY good coffee!

2. Little people hugs and kisses...my kids can make my day by volunteering a hug or kiss....

3. The smell of my husband's cologne! YUM!

4. Chocolate...DARK, DARK chocolate. Sweet, or semi-sweet, chocolate bars or chocolate kisses, or drinking chocolate....I'll take it how I can get it.....

5. Music....Classical music, Big band, 60's rock, Southern Gospel, Contemporary Christian, choral, band, blues, jazz, country, pop (a little)......I love music......

6. Books. I love me a good book. Growing up, I read everything I could get my hands on....cereal boxes, dictionaries, encyclopedia, and every single piece of literature my mother had on her expansive bookshelves. Now, my bookshelves groan under the weight of my book collection....and I just added some more!! The newest additions: Inside the Kingdom, by Carmen bin Ladin; Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge; Woman First, Family Always, by Kathryn Sansone....and another one I got for my husband....but I want to read it, too, and now I can't find it.....

7. Flowers! Hubby brought me home roses last night! Beautiful white roses! They're SO pretty!

8. My husband. After 15+ years, I love him WAY more than I did when we got married. Amazing how you never can imagine that at the wedding!

9. The kids...each one in their own different way. They're fun, and challenging, and I would do anything for them.

10. Animals. I love having animals around me. I grew up on a farm, and our lives revolved around animal care...feeding them, picking up the eggs, getting the horses in, untangling the dog's chain, making sure the cat wasn't trapped in the basement, again, keeping the cows out of the wrong pastures..... Animals can give you a purpose for going on when there's not much left to motivate you, and can be so trusting and loving, and won't talk behind your back! My favorite animals are dogs and horses...and I collect cow things.

11. Friends...all kinds of friends. Military friends, neighborhood friends, church friends, old friends, work friends, internet friends....I just have problems keeping up with all of them....

12. February....my favorite month of the year. My birthday month. My birthstone is my favorite color.

13. Jesus....I know I'm gonna sound cheesy here.....please bear with me. My relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in my life. He has brought me through so much, giving me a future and hope, and it amazes me that He still loves me!



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Give-Away at CWO!!

A great give-away is happening at Christian Women Online....



Visit Mugs of Truth

All you have to do is post about the give-away on your blog, and then comment on their devotional blog up to once a day, Feb. 1st-Feb. 29th....devotions AND a give-away...doesn't get much better than that!

How do you tell your wife happy birthday?

I love my husband. I really, really do.

Some days, my husband is just a bonehead. I'm a mother, and I work from home, and try to keep up with the house. I NEVER get enough sleep. I'm fighting off a cold. I've never been a morning person.

So, my loving, caring husband wakes me up early. On my birthday. For "that". Because nothing says happy birthday more than waking up the night owl early, to do something she has NO desire to do at that point in the day.

Yeah. Happy Birthday to me. So, my husband left to go to work, upset at me, and I am left at home, getting the kids ready for school, and feeling guilty. Happy birthday. Yippee.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A little bit of this and that....

First tomorrow is my birthday. We're probably going to have our regular day....Hubby to work, kids to school, me working at home, then picking up the eldest from band practice, off to AWANAS, and eldest to her class, and hubby and I will go out to dinner before heading back to start picking everyone up.

So, this weekend, we went and spent our tax money...getting some things we really needed, which fit in just nicely to be my birthday/Valentine's presents this year. So, without further ado....




I spent ALL afternoon yesterday, putting that desk together...I have blisters on my hands from the screwdrivers. But, I am LOVING it!
Then, hubby sent me shopping on Sunday....I got jeans, a shirt, and BOOKS!!
Now, if you've made it through all of that, I have some blogs I read this morning I'd like you to go check out....
First, Eric (our music minister at our church in Montana) has a great article posted about Valentine's Day. Go read it here.
Second, there has been a HUGE to-do over what is going on in Berkley, CA. Norma posted some about it here.
Gotta go...school bus will be here in a minute.....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Moving Day!

Today is THE DAY of The Big Bloggy Move, sponsored by Megan at SortaCrunchy and Christy at After a Cup of Coffee...Or Two. I get to take part, since I started this blog back in December...Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fun Stuff




The Recipe For Laura



3 parts Charm

2 parts Prosperity

1 part Compassion



Splash of Creativity



Finish off with an olive

Memories (installment 7)

In honor of my favorite month…I wanted to share how I met my wonderful husband.

I was in my Junior year in college, and it was the weekend that high school students came to visit the school. There was a skit being put on for their entertainment in the chapel. I was coming into the chapel with a friend, and this kid snagged us, and asked if we could help him out, by coming into the chapel in front of him. THAT kid was Jason. He was a Junior in HIGH SCHOOL that year.

Fast forward…two years later, I was a second-year senior, and living off campus. There was this new guy there…somehow familiar looking, and talking to me about this girl that he was interested in dating. We spent a lot of time together, just talking and hanging out.

I was still sort of dating a guy I had been dating for about a year…he was anxious to get married. I was NOT convinced. I needed space to think…about how I could break up with him…convince him that it was OVER. He showed up at my work on Friday night, with roses. I was not happy to see him. I spent a little bit of time with him, trying to make sure he understand that I really meant it…then I ran away. I went to the dorms to spend the night with my friend, who decided that we needed to get out…

We called Jason and one of his friends, and we ran away to IHOP…where we drank copious amounts of coffee, and talked until late into the night. That was October 13th. We had our first “official” date on the 17th, and were married exactly a year later. (Oh, and those friends who went out with us to IHOP? They’re married now, too…to each other!)

Birthdays have never been a huge deal for me. My parents never really made anything of them…I remember one birthday party. We had family parties, but only ever had one party that I was able to invite any friends to attend. Even that was a little bit of a disappointment.

Since we’ve been married, we have not celebrated Valentine’s Day much…but, we also don’t really make a huge deal out of my birthday. We DO usually go out to dinner…and I guess this year, my birthday presents will be delivered on Monday…a new washer and dryer, and a desk that we will have to assemble…happy birthday/Valentines’ Day to me!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Scrolling Saturday, Edition 5

Originally posted on January 8th, 2008, reposted here, hoping for some love....

STEPS IN THE JOURNEY

I have been a Christian for just over 27 years. I was 11 when I said the prayer (yeah, you do the math! ). In my naive thoughts, my life was supposed to be easy. No struggles. No battling with sin. After all, I was a Christian. That meant that the path was all laid out for me, and would be easy to find, and easier to follow. Boy, was I mistaken.

As a teen, I struggled, as do most teens, with rebellion in some form or another. I also struggled with depression. I was in a very legalistic church, and struggled with obeying the many rules, and with the path my life would take. We didn't belong there...we were WAY different. My parents expected us to go to college...very few of my friends even graduated from high school.

College was good, but it was also hard. I was going to Bible College, and there were so many different people there...with different backgrounds, and different beliefs. I learned a lot. I grew a lot. I learned that there IS good Christian life without the abundance of legalism. I met my husband!When we were dating, my struggles changed. My friends and my family didn't like my boyfriend. They didn't like him as my fiance, either. My parents liked him a LOT less as my husband, and it got worse as we had children, and our finances got tighter. I struggled with depression, and with burn-out from my time in Bible College, the stress of working full-time, and trying to make ends meet. We spent 4 long years not speaking to my parents. We dealt with job changes, moves, car accidents, a miscarriage, a run-in with DSS, and a church that just didn't quiet "get" us. Did I mention the depression? It was part of everything...just there in the background....kind of "mood music."

Then my husband had an affair. The kids and I moved in with my brother. My husband repented. I was overjoyed, and very apprehensive. This time, it was his family that wouldn't talk to us. My husband moved home. We decided that this would be a good time for him to try to go active duty in the Navy. He had been a reservist for a year, and we needed him to have a good, full-time job...one that would support us. Oh, and the depression was getting worse.

We moved to Texas after he finished A-school in Mississippi. I learned a lot about Navy life. I homeschooled 2 of our children, and had another beautiful little girl 1 week before his ship deployed. I was the Ombudsman, so I was BUSY...too busy to think about ME. Life in a homeschooling house, with 5 children, one of whom is less than 6 months old, is CRAZY. Add in dealing with the drama that is ship-life...that summer was FULL. Finances were always a problem...as were the cars. I was still dealing with the depression, and I hadn't yet learned how to trust my husband again.

When that beautiful little girl was 18 months old, and I was 5 months pregnant with the next, we moved to Montana. That was a LONG drive! Two adults (one pregnant), 5 children, 2 cars, driving from south Texas to Montana...a 33 hour drive, according to Mapquest. We stopped off with some friends in the northern part of TX....only 14 hours into our trip. We stopped in Cheyenne, WY, for a night. We were supposed to make it all the way to our destination in MT the next day. One of the cars died in a tiny little town in Wyoming. We spent the night there, and bought a van...a 1988 conversion van...a V-8, running on 6....burning gas like there was no tomorrow. Somehow we limped into town, having spent our last $2.64 on gas. We had no money for the motel, dinner, gas. We knew no one. Fortunately, one of the guys from the reserve center where hubby was going rescued us.

Life in Montana was hard. Hubby was at a tiny command...with 8 active duty, and about 100 reservists. Very little in the way of support for the family of the active duty. We found a great church, and got involved quickly. I was still homeschooling, and jumped right into the homeschool community. The kids were involved in AWANA. I was involved in the women's ministry. Hubby ran sound at church, and was involved in the men's ministry. We went to couples' retreats. I was depressed...more than ever.

I tried counseling. I still couldn't figure out how to trust hubby. I felt like there was something terribly wrong with our relationship, and neither one of us could figure out what it was. Hubby decided it was him, and told me that he was moving out. He filed for divorce. My depression hit an all-time low. Our pastor referred me to a Biblical counselor. That counselor was a God-send...literally. God used him to turn around our marriage. I have learned to trust again. My walk with God is back on track. We were in counseling for just over a year. During that time, we learned to enjoy each other again...dates, having fun together. We also got new orders....we were moving back to the East Coast! Yippee! And fear....what would we do without our counselor? We graduated...

...and moved to Virginia. Hubby is still in Montana for another week, or so....but things are still on track. God has been SO good! He restored our marriage. He has provided for us in ways we never expected! Oh, and He took away the depression! For the first time in 20ish years, I am NOT depressed!

I am amazed at all of the things that God has brought me though in the 27 years I've walked with Him. Each new turn is another adventure...definitely never a boring minute!



For more Scrolling Saturday, go here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen things that threaten to take over my house


1. Papers…mail, school papers, work papers…they grow during the night. I am convinced of it.
2. Laundry…the clean kind. I rarely have trouble with the dirty laundry, but the clean stuff just won’t go away.
3. Toys…with 6 kids in the house, the toys are everywhere. And, even though we’ve instituted rules to govern where the toys are kept, the still creep into every corner of the house.
4. Dishes. Again with the rules…there are NOT supposed to be ANY dishes upstairs, because there is not supposed to be any food upstairs. How come I keep finding things up there?!? And with 8 of us trying to keep eating, the dishes generated are overwhelming.
5. Trash. How people get away with little bags of trash is astounding to me. I know we could do better, but I feel crippled…the recycle bin for our place was gone when we got here…HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RECYCLE?!? (and no notes about going and finding a place to take the stuff…I am still trying to find my way around to the necessary places…schools, grocery stores, Wal*mart…I don’t have any brainpower left right now to try to find the recycle place!).
6. Movies. We don’t get out much, which necessitates LOTS of movies…and, apparently, we’ve bought a lot of movies that we’ve never watched…
7. Wal*mart bags…shopping bags…again, this is a new area, and I haven’t yet found a place to recycle them, so they keep building up under my sink.
8. Books…I LOVE books. I have quite a collection that just seems to keep growing.
9. Pictures…family pictures, school pictures, decorative pictures…I am running out of space to hang them all.
10. Boxes. We just moved, and those boxes just won’t go away.
11. Shoes…8 people in the house, each with at least 2 pairs of shoes equals a LOT of shoes, snow boots, sandals, slippers….
12. Socks…somehow they never get matched and put back into circulation….
13. Children…yes, the children would LOVE to take over…it’s a daily battle.





For more Thursday Thirteen, go here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In the middle of the night....

I thought I got tired...exhausted, worn out, depleted...when I worked overnights at Walmart. I stayed tired. Then I quit for our move, and have since found work that I can do from home...not making much money yet, but at least I got my first paycheck!! (little yippee! because it was a little check!)

Now, as I scramble my way through the learning curve of this new line of work, I am finding that I am MENTALLY exhausted. My body follows suit before too long, and I am just WIPED OUT. I don't have anything left in me to pour out to friends, or in whitty conversation, and I find myself thinking, at wierd hours of the night, that I *ought to* call this person, or that person, and convey that I am thinking of them....but no, I don't have any mental energy left to do it.

So, if you are waiting a phone call from me, I appologize. I probably haven't forgotten you. Most likely, I'm thinking of you on a regular basis. I just can't work up enough energy to go find my phone...never mind string a couple of words together, and get them out of my mouth at the appropriate time.

So, if you see me out sleep walking around the streets of Virginia Beach, please, stop me, point me back in the direction of my house, and pray that I get enough sleep!

on that note....I'm going to bed!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

More Tags....

I was tagged by Wife/Mom/Domestic Engineer at Heritage Academy to do a CRAZY number of memes....okay, so only 5...one of which I have done once in the last month (see my E for Excellent Award?), so I am "just" going to do 4 of them.....
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MEME #1

Here are the rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.



My nearest book is "Revolution in World Missions" by K.P. Yohannan.


Page 123, sentances 5-7.....

"But now they were even worse off--they were presented a completely wrong picture of what it means and what it takes to follow Christ. Could that be what we fear in North America: no gyms--no softball teams--no converts? The lesson from the mission field is that meeting physical needs alone does not get people to follow God."

Tagging:

The Mocha Mom
Heth from Under the Laundry Pile
Driving with the Brakes on
Don't make me get the flying monkeys!
South Carolina Mom
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MEME #2


Blogging With Purpose AwardRules:
1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.
2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.
3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.
4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to the above linked site.

Tag...you're IT:
...."And Miles To Go Before We Sleep"...
Cricket's Hearth
Sorta Crunchy
To Know Him
The Preacher's Wife

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MEME #3

Here are the rules:
1. You must post the rules before you give your answers.
2. List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. (If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name).
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and that they need to read your blog for details).

(THANK YOU, Mama and Daddy for my very short middle name!!)

  1. L-Lazy...I am really a very lazy person.
  2. E-eat...to my detriment, I really, really like to eat.
  3. E-exercise is what I need to do more of, BECAUSE I like to eat!

I now tag:

  1. Daisy at Lazy Daisy Log
  2. EVERYONE!! (Do you know how hard it is to find blogs/bloggers that begin with the letter E?!?....especially when one has been on one's computer all FREAKING DAY LONG, and is tired, and just wants to go to bed!)

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MEME #4

First, the rules, which are important, because they also tag — randomly — six more people to join in the fun:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you
  2. Post the rules on your blog
  3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
  4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website
So, again, I was tagged by the awesome lady at Heritage Academy.

My six things/habits/quirks:

  1. I wear socks to bed, every night, winter or summer, because me feet get cold.
  2. I got my ears pierced, for the first time, when I was 22 years old.
  3. Riding in any car with my husband driving makes me feel like we are going to rear-end every car that dares venture in front of us.
  4. I LOVE to watch HGTV, every chance I get....every time hubby is out of town!
  5. I collect books...piles and piles of books. More books than all my bookshelves will hold. I'm pretty sure that most of the weight of our many moves is made up of the boxes and boxes of books I own.
  6. My favorite purchase this year is my SHREDDER!! No more fodder for those identity thieves!

More people who are now IT:

  1. Such Simple Pleasures
  2. Cafe at the End of the Universe
  3. My Little Drummer Boys
  4. Wendy at The Adventures of MomLady
  5. Our Seven QTpies
  6. Beth at The Young Family

FINALLY, DONE...after working on this, off and on, for HOURS. Time for BED...I'll be contacting people tomorrow....