Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Livin' With Myself

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, there are days when being the loving wife, good mom and Christian I want to be is close to impossible. Today just happens to be one of those days.



I'm at the point in my cycle where I am emotional and questioning everything about my relationship with my husband, my friends, and the rest of my family...and especially questioning where I am with God. During this time, everything is weighed in the balances of my emotions, and EVERYTHING comes out wanting.



I KNOW I am loved...by my kids, by my husband, by my God. I know all of this.



I know that I am doing what I am supposed to do...taking care of my children, my house, my work...spending time with my husband, working on building our relationship. Spending time with my God, learning to know Him better. Growing to be a better person.



This time of the month, though, I doubt it all. I do not feel loved. I second guess everything I am doing. I feel alone. I wonder if I am headed back to depression.

I have to be reminded, over and over again that I AM where I am supposed to be, that I AM loved, that I DO belong, and that I DO have a future and a hope.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Inspiration Comes In Many Forms

I recently found a blog that tells the story of a family who has been an inspiration, and their pain has touched a lot of people. Angie and Todd Smith (of Selah) recently had a baby girl, Audrey, who was only with the for a short time. You can read the story of their journey at Angie's blog, Bring the Rain.


There is a really thought-provoking video put together by Pastor Pete at Crosspoint Church in Nashville, TN. You can see his blog here.

Go here to see the video:
Smith Family Story from Matthew Singleton on Vimeo.

Pray for Todd and Angie and their girls while they are grieving.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Memories (installment 16)

The duplex we moved into was in town, on a quiet little street. It was a cute little place, two bedrooms, one bath, with beautiful hardwood floors. I loved living there. We moved in when our oldest was about 18 months old.



While we lived there, I became pregnant with our second child. During the pregnancy, we cut off communications with my parents. I was also not working, and we were attempting to live on the income that Jason could make. Jason started adding jobs, to try to bring in more income. At one point, he was working one full-time job and 2 part-time jobs. That meant that he was not home very much.



With this second pregnancy, I was DETERMINED to not have another C-section. I REALLY wanted to have a home birth, but Jason was unwilling. We had met with a midwife, and she suggested that if we decided against the homebirth, we might be interested in having a doula assist with the birth at the hospital. This midwife had a young girl apprenticing under her who was really looking for the experience of just BEING there for births. She came out to our house several times, and helped me practice some relaxation techniques...oh, and she gave the BEST massages... I also spent a lot of time at the library, reading up on how to have the birth that I really wanted to have.



The pregnancy itself was very uneventful. So much so that I just stayed pregnant forever....or so it seemed. At around 40 weeks, everything looked fine, and we had no worries. At 42 weeks, the midwife/doctor group I was seeing was getting a little concerned. They wanted to up the number of observations they were doing of me....we started to have weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds. The next week, they upped it again, to every two days. Everything still looked good.

During all of this, Jason was DETERMINED that he was going to help me go into labor. We went out to eat...for Mexican food...a LOT. We went for LONG walks at the beautiful park in downtown Columbia. We went for bumpy rides. I took castor oil-orange juice cocktails (REALLY, really gross!). Obviously, none of that worked! At about 22 days late, at my Monday morning ultrasound and non-stress test, the powers-that-be decided that the placenta was starting to look "old" and that we needed to go ahead with an induction.



We went straight from the doctor's office over to the hospital for the insertion of a prosteglandin gel to ripen the cervix. We were there until about lunch time, and headed home to pack our bags for the next day.



The next morning, we dropped the oldest off with Jason's parents and headed to the hospital...VERY early. The pitocin drip was started almost immediately, and things were going along rather nicely. The midwife apprentice was able to be there for me that day, and was a huge help. Jason was bored and sat around watching sports on TV all day. Sometime around 4:00 pm, the midwife came in and gave me my options. Option #1 was staying on the pitocin, unable to eat or sleep much, with the threat of a C-section the next morning. Option #2 was to get off of the pitocin for the night, have some supper and get some sleep, and start back on it the next morning. We went with Option #2. I was only at 4 cm.



After a very uneventful night of supper and sleep, I was again hooked back to the pitocin and got down to the work of having a baby. The apprentice had to go back to work on Day 2, so Jason and I were on our own. Sometime around noon, the midwife told me that the doctors in the group were getting concerned about the length of the labor, and were threatening me with a C-section if the baby didn't arrive by 4:00 pm. ACK!!! NOT A C-SECTION!!! Okay, back to laboring. Finally, Jonathan Charles checked in at about 4:16 pm at 9 pounds, 3 ounces....NOT a C-section...but a small episiotomy. He was 24 days late, but a big, healthy boy.




We headed back home 2 days later, a family of four.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Christianity for Skeptics


Did I ever mention that I LOVE the church we've found here? I have to say it again. I LOVE Reality Church. This is a seeker-oriented church, so if you're looking for your normal church (read: pews, hymns, and "Sunday clothes"), you will be a bit shocked to walk into our church.


First things first...NO ONE wears "Sunday clothes" to Reality...well, except maybe a couple of the little kids who just LOVE their beautiful dresses, and don't have anywhere else to wear them. The rest of us? Jeans, t-shirts...nothing dressy.


Second...ambiance...we meet in a high school cafeteria, and have much of it set up with small tables, kind of like a cafe' setting. The lights go down, and we have spotlights, and colorful lighting, and two big screens that are used for the lyrics of the music. The music...a BIT more upbeat....a little Skillet, some MercyMe, occassionally some Barlow Girl...this is NOT your average Sunday morning music.


Finally, Steve Sileo is is an awsome pastor. Again, not your average pastor. And the sermons? Not really sermons. More like talks...but SOUND. GOOD. Make you THINK. Yeah, we love Steve!


So, we're in the middle of this really GOOD series...one I wish I had been able to hear when I was my daughter's age (14)... Called Christianity for Skeptics, Steve has covered:


  1. Why Should Anyone Believe in God?

  2. Why Scientists are Rejecting Evolution

  3. Why is there Evil if there is a God?

  4. Why should I trust the Bible?

Today, he spoke on Why Jesus Is Everything You’re Looking For, and next week is Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?


If you're interested in listening, go to Reality Media and download the individual messages...today's is not yet up, and I think they didn't get the first one on there yet...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thanks, Gunny!

I read a lot of other blogs by military affiliated people. Most are wives, girlfriends or mothers of men serving our country. One or two are men...and it is good to get the different perspective. One I particularly appreciate is Gunny's Gouge, a Marine whose recent post I really appreciated. Go read it....What the *&^% are we doing over there? (Yeah, he's a Marine...I had to edit that title!!)

Thanks, Gunny!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Zonked Out


THIS is what happens after a week of 3:00 am rising and softball practice until 11:00 pm.
Isn't he just adorable all curled up there?
I LOVE YOU, Honey!
Thank you for your hard work!

Weekend Plans

I love weekends. I love having everyone home and doing things together. It seems like we don't get to do that very often, and this weekend will be no exception.

Tonight, two kids have baseball practice and hubby has (hopefully) has his last bowling night for this league. Then, the kids get to have their Friday night movie night...tonight they're watching Enchanted. Friday night is also date night for hubby and I...hopefully we can fit that in this week!

Tomorrow hubby has drill...he'll be training some people to take over so he doesn't have to go back on Saturdays anymore!! YIPPEE!! Three kids also have baseball games, plus we have laundry, house cleaning, showers....and homework for the oldest.

Sunday is church...we meet in a school, so we go early and help set up, and then stay for both services and help with the break down afterwards. THEN hubby has softball practice, and I'll bring all the kids home. The kids all take afternoon naps on Sunday... family tradition that means that we all have a nice quiet afternoon.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I need to get to the store for birthday presents for the 12 year old birthday boy.

Okay, must get to work....hope you all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday!


Twelve years ago today, my first son was born.











This child is just a little bit Crazy!












He's a GREAT big brother...















and a pretty thoughtful young man....












...and a pretty good baseball player.











Happy Birthday, eldest son! I love you, and I'm glad that God gave you to us! I hope you have a GREAT day!!

Thursday Thirteen #16


Thirteen Things about staying up until 2:00 am



1. There is alot of time to play computer games.

2. You *could* get a lot of laundry done, if you weren't playing computer games.

3. You *could* also actually clean the house, if you weren't playing computer games.

4. If you stay up until 2:00 am, it will be difficult to roll out of bed when the alarm goes off at 6:30 am.

5. If you stay up until 2:00 am, you get to see 2 extra episodes of CSI Miami.

6. If you stay up until 2;00 am, you will not hear your husband get up and leave at 3:00 am.

7. If you stay up until 2:00 am, you won't feel like making a pot of coffee, so take the opportunity to teach your 10 year old the ritual...without getting up from your chair at the computer.

8. Staying up until 2:00 am and then getting up at 7:00 am (because you were too tired to get up with the alarm at 6:30) will affect your brain, and thus the rest of your day.

9. Anything that affects my day, also affects my children's day.

10. This lack of sleep means that you will forget that your elder son has a birthday today.

11. It also means that you forget about the appointments you have for the day.

12. And you might as well just forget about work...because you'll be falling asleep at the computer all day long.

13. I guess this means I'd better go get that coffee that just finished brewing....

Hope everyone else has a great day! I'll be sleeping (or just be really jittery all day from too much coffee, and no sleep!)....shhhhh....don't wake me up!




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, April 23, 2008

And now...

...back your regularly scheduled programming.

In other words, life goes on, whether or not I am busy. Kids still have baseball (well, except that it's been raining again), and school (except for the one that got suspended for the day yesterday), and laundry has to be done, and dishes keep piling up in the kitchen sink.

Hopefully the two practices and one game scheduled for tonight go on as previously scheduled. At this moment there is no rain falling, though the ground is still completely saturated, and there are puddles all around. I anticipate very muddy children coming home this evening!

Which means more laundry. YIPPEE.

The eldest was in a flute trio competing yesterday at another middle school. Which meant another drive across town. I think they did very well...still waiting to hear results, though.

Some of the neighbors are moving....the dad is headed to Iraq, so the family is moving closer to family. Their little girl is in kindergarten with my 6 year old. We've had her over in the afternoons yesterday and today to play while the packers have taken over their house. Last night, after she left, I had to deal with tears over losing a friend. What can I say? This WILL be the story of their lives as long as their dad is in the military. Thankfully, cheap telephone minutes and internet access help shorten the distance between friends.

And now, we are preparing for a 5th grade graduation, softball season, and summer vacation. And more work. And more friends moving....

....yes, life does go on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bloggy Business

I get so distracted with daily life that I forget about things, so I guess I need to take care of this NOW, before it is totaly forgotten.

Wendy, at The Adventures of MomLady bestowed this beautiful award on me sometime last week. I am SO honored. Thank you, Wendy!!

So, to pass on this bit of beauty...I have to figure out some deserving people (not that the unchosen are not deserving...after all, I can't link the whole of bloggyworld!)....

Jackie at Mother's Pride

My Life With Boys

It's a Wonderful Life

Our Seven QTpies

Jennifer at the petersons go public!

Enough for now. Enjoy your little bit of bling and your time in the spotlight! I love your blogs, ladies, and get by to read every chance I get. I hope this helps brighten your days!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Even more fun....

...this one is scary, since it is now almost 9:00 pm, and I am operating at THIS level?!?!?

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou


By the way, that took 98 clicks in 30 seconds!

This is a Family-Friendly Blog!

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

A Love Letter To Oprah

Received, via email, from a friend...

A Love Letter To Oprah
by James Robison



Dear Oprah,

I remember when you first launched your daily talk program throughout the country. My wife and I have watched with amazement as it has grown. I know you have been gratified by its broad acceptance and popularity.

My wife Betty and I have been praying for you since Gene Self (my former staff member and close friend of Stedman's) began to tell me about the relationship you had with his friend. On numerous occasions I thought we were going to be able to get together and just talk based on comments Stedman made to my associate. This never occurred, but we have watched your television programs and especially the talk format grow until they have worldwide impact.

Betty and I also host a daily television program, LIFE Today (www.lifetoday.org), which airs around the world. I also founded the ministry of Life Outreach International. With the help of countless supporters, Betty and I have been sharing the life and love of God in word and deed in the U.S. and abroad. We focus heavily on Africa, feeding more than 400,000 children each month and drilling hundreds of fresh water wells.

I am writing out of a sincere love and concern for you. I have heard some comments recently, visited the "New Earth" and witnessed the influence of Eckhart Tolle. Some of your statements concerning your beliefs and the direction you are going actually brought tears to my wife's eyes. She was stunned to hear your views of Jesus Christ, eternity and the Bible.

You are a true example of the opportunity and success that America offers people who have had difficult challenges. I can relate, because I am the product of a forced sexual relationship on a 40-year-old woman. As a child, I spent time in a foster home; then with my birth mother and a stepfather who could not read or write. Later, my violent, alcoholic father came back into the picture. It ended when I pointed a gun at him in self-defense as he threatened to kill me. By the grace of God, I did not have to pull the trigger. A couple of years later, I committed my life to Christ and God changed me, established my life, and gave me a future. My wife Betty and I recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary. We have three children and 11 grandchildren.

We have witnessed the vast influence you have been afforded. There is no question that you sincerely care about people. Your outreach in Africa and your personal response to the suffering you have seen reveals your genuine interest in the well-being of others. I believe you truly care about others.

You have become popular because you shared your own challenges, your own questions and your own failures. You have shared your battle with weight and tried to help people improve their own health. Anything that helped you, you passed on. I appreciate that. I sense that you believe in God and want the best for all His people.

What breaks my heart is that somehow we, as Christians, have failed to effectively communicate the greatness of our God to you. I cannot express how much I want you to fully experience the grace that God freely shares through Jesus Christ, as well as the supernatural enabling He provides "to live appropriately and victoriously in the now," as you eloquently put it.

We both know that life can be difficult, but God Almighty has provided a helper through the person of His Holy Spirit to walk through the valleys and also enable us to experience success without our gain becoming idolatrous addiction. He offers us the very things that you claim to be discovering in a mind-boggling journey wrapped in New Age philosophy and relativism. The Apostle Paul warned against the human tendency to justify ungodly ideas by "changing the truth of God into a lie" and allowing our own appetites and desires to control us rather than the proven principles of the Bible.

Here is my great concern. You have obviously seen good Christians whom you admire, such as CeCe Winans and Nicole C. Mullen. I know both of these wonderful women and I am sure they shared the reality of a personal and deep relationship with Jesus Christ. But where have we, as Christians, either in our prayer life or in our example failed to connect with you and inspire you so you could see Jesus as He really is? Many have seen limited portraits of God, such as the extreme suffering depicted in Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ. But you may not have been able to see the power of the comment Jesus made to his mother when he fell beneath the weight of the cross in that movie. He commented, "Mother, I came to make all things new."

Oprah, He is the one who enables us to rightly live in the now. Only Jesus Christ can free us from past problems, present pressures and future pursuits that can become idols. Rather, we look back on the past, thank God for the lessons we have learned, trust Him for grace to deal with painful experiences, and provide present abiding power to count it all joy when we face temptation and trials, knowing that He will walk with us not only in the presence of our enemies and accusers, but even through the valley of the shadow of death. He is our ever-present spiritual and personal Shepherd. Think about this: He said it was necessary to leave and send "another of the same kind" -- the Holy Spirit, His Spirit living in us in order for us to live life fully and freely.

Surely you have seen the reality of this eternal truth. The fact is He not only covers the past and provides for the present, but He also promises to secure our future. We are, in fact, eternal beings. We are not creatures of the day. It breaks my heart to hear you say that a sentence from your pastor concerning God being a jealous God caused you to reconsider your entire belief system. You misunderstood what the pastor intended and the reality of God's jealousy. He is not jealous of us, He is jealous for us in the sense that He does not want to see anything foolishly captivate us and take us as prisoners. God does not want you to miss the supernatural fulfillment that He freely offers. It is like a wife being jealous not because her husband associates with other women, but because she knows that he might be captivated by a false relationship and taken away from his first love and his family. Godly jealousy is an expression of love and concern for our best interests -- not a petty human emotion of fear, but concern that we might miss the very essence of life.

Oprah, you are gifted. You have been so blessed and I know you recognize and appreciate it. I believe that you want to share the best you can discover with others. But Oprah, can I encourage you to please sit down and go a little deeper and discover something that will also truly enable your friend Eckhart Tolle and others caught up in his teaching to see that God has given us Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who not only lived and died, but now through the power of His Spirit is available to live in us if we open ourselves to His indwelling presence? This is not mere religion, it is relationship with the living God and an unconditional love for others.

You are an honest seeker and sincere in your desire to help others. Please give us as Christians another chance to clearly communicate the matchless, amazing grace of our great God and give Jesus, the One who has never in any way failed, the opportunity to become the fullness of life for you and those you care about. He will enable you to deal with the past, live fully and meaningfully in the now, and secure your future, so that whatever challenges may come, you will have a Friend and Father who never leaves or forsakes you.

As believers, Betty and I are praying for you and encouraging every person with faith in Jesus Christ to lift you up in loving prayer before the Lord. You are a special person and it is my prayer that you not miss anything God has to offer. I pray that your journey will inspire all of us to examine our lives and become more consistent, compassionate, effective witnesses for Christ. Perhaps each of us as Christians should feel some weight of responsibility for not more effectively demonstrating the great message of hope found in Christ. Those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will never be disappointed in Him.

God loves you so much, as well as everyone you sincerely seek to inspire.

Praying His best for you and those you love,

James Robison

****************

This is a beautifully worded letter to Oprah...and has really prompted me to pray for her even more. I hope you will join me.

A beautiful song...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fun Stuff




Your Inner European is Italian!



Passionate and colorful.

You show the world what culture really is.

Memories (installment 15)

The winter at the dump was cold. There was no heat in our little house, and little insulation. We had a good amount of snow(for South Carolina), and we were sleeping on a mattress on the floor. The heaters we had were little electric ceramic heaters which helped, but never really got the place to a comfortable level.

I found a job as quickly as I could...I was working for a home medical equipment company, answering phones, taking orders, scheduling deliveries, and helping out with insurance filing. I enjoyed that job. Jason went back to work at the fast food restaurant, working as a shift manager.

Frances' first birthday was while we were living there...it was fun to have Jason's family out to celebrate with us! We were doing okay, but were really looking forward to getting out of that house!

In January, we lived through a series of events that rocked our world. In short, Jason was accused of neglect, on the testimony of an anonymous tipster who lied to the police. Our daughter was taken from us, and Jason had to call me at work to tell me all of this. Frances was 13 months old at the time, and still nursing. I got to see her ONE TIME during that week...I was MISERABLE, Jason was miserable, and I'm sure that Frances was a very sad little girl during that week as well. There were no official charges brought, but we had to deal with the VERY invasive tactics of the Department of Social Services, and the anguish and trauma of having our child taken from us for a week's time.

After Frances came home, we got a puppy...he was a cutie! Frances loved that little guy, and his was a lot of fun. During that summer, we moved again...away from the dump (YEAH!!), and into a duplex in town, where we spent about 2 years. The pup moved with us, and grew by leaps and bounds...as did Frances. Sometime that summer I also found out that we were expecting again. I had quit my job by this time, and we were trying to get by on just Jason's income...and he was working two or three jobs at a time.

In the mean time, my relationship with my parents had gotten even worse. They kept putting more and more pressure on me to do things their way, and both Jason and I got to the piont where we could not handle any more of it. One day, I sat down and typed out a letter to them stating how upset I was with how they were treating us, and how I could not handle any more of it. I said that I was going to have to go for a while without talking to them, until I was better able to handle communicating with them.

Let me tell you...that letter did NOT go over well. My brothers were very adament that I was in the wrong (honestly, they really didn't care about Jason at that point), and that I needed to "fix it" and talk to my parents. I didn't get any communication from my parents, at all. No attempted phone calls. No letters. Nothing. Even so, I was petrified. They had tried forcing me away from Jason before, and I knew that their tendency was to be a "little" controlling.

The next four years were hard.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pictures

I've posted new kid pictures on our picture website. Go see them!

Baseball Marathons


Today, we spent a HUGE amount of time at the ball park, watching 3 separate games. It was BEAUTIFUL out there, but a little warm.

The little girls had a lot of fun running around, chasing their brothers and seeing some of their friends.






Justin (sitting here eating his snack) and his team won their game.








Heather (here on the field) and her team all won their game!

I wasn't able to get any pictures of Jon still in his uniform....they came back to lose, 14 to 17.

I got to play taxi driver, and got a little bit of sun!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Links have been bugging me...

I keep finding these things I want to share...some of them are videos that don't have html available to post them directly on my blog, so I am stuck posting a link....so, without further ado:



Okay, so I found that one...:::blush:::...maybe the rest will work out so well!

Military Support Sites

Military One Source
MilitaryWives.com
4MilitaryFamilies.com
MilSpouse.org
MTOM for Kids

Educational Sites (especially FREE ones!!!) because sometimes I really miss homeschooling!

School Express
RHL School
TeAchnology
ABCteach.com

So, I'm tired, and I need to stop before I get sucked into a huge marathon of posting links to every site I've ever loved...we *could* be here all night long....but, the wine is getting to me, and I need some sleep before our next marathon day at the ballpark....so, have a wonderful night!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #15


Thirteen Google Searches that land people on my blog:



1. Wubzy Walden Widget

2. Mom of Six

3. Day to day mom blog

4. A day in the life of a mom

5. Things not to say to a military wife

6. What is too cold for baseball practice

7. Mrs. Spider

8. Mennonite women gone bad

9. Mom of six pregnant again (NOT!)

10. Mom six with his kids

11. Stupid things people say to military wives

12. A day in the life of a midwife who works from home

13. Pictures of pregnant moms bellies with six babies.

And a few extra...just for the fun of it....

Mom

Wow wow wubzy

Why movie buff?

A typical day in the life of a child



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, April 16, 2008

GO VOTE FOR ME!!!

So, a while back I submitted the story of how I met my husband to an author's site, and now people can go and read it, and VOTE FOR ME! Please, go!

You can read my story here.

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME!!!

No Parent Left Behind...

I just got this email from my Father-in-law...it's HILARIOUS!!!

NO PARENT LEFT BEHIND....
I promise you cannot read these and not laugh out loud. These are real notes written by parents in an ALABAMA school district. Spellings have been left intact.

1. My son is under a doctor's care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.

3. Dear school: please ecsc's john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.

5. Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

9. Chris wi ll no t be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

10. Please excuse ray friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

11. Pleaseexcuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had (diahre dyrea direathe) the shits.

12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

13. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.

15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because i don't know what size she wear.

16. Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.

17. Sally won't be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.

18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.

19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

20. Please excuse mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.

22. Please excuse brenda. She has been sick and under the doctor.

23. Maryann was absent december 11-16, because she had a fever, sorethroat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

Now we know why parents are screaming for better education for our kids!

Monday, April 14, 2008

How?

How do you write when you have nothing new to say? When what you really want to say you just can't...for so many reasons? How do you come up with something informative, or funny, or just newsy, when all you want to do is curl up in a corner somewhere, and ignore life passing you by?

Today was a decent day. I got a lot of work done. The kids got out the door on time. We have money. Hubby was home for the day.

And something happened and just messed it all up. And hubby keeps saying "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!" And I don't know how to turn it off....

....so, instead of blogging about exactly what is happening, I am wandering around it, and posting about how this thing just ruined my week.

I got in the shower and prayed, and worried, and worried some more, and prayed some more....and I still can't figure out how to turn it over to God and LEAVE IT THERE. I want to trust Him to take care of it....but it keeps rearing its ugly little head and harrassing the heck outa me....

....and I just want to cry.

And I can't. Cause hubby will just yell at me again about worrrying about it. And cause I've got more work to do. And cause hubby has to wear his whites tomorrow, which means I have to hem a pair of pants for him.

So pray for me...
and pray for this situation...
and pray that I can hem these dadgummed pants without crying or bleeding all over them.... (cause they're WHITE...ick...the summer whites are a PAIN IN THE REAR!!!!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Memories (installment 14)

It was Christmas, 1993, mere days after our first child was born. We were living in a cute little apartment in Columbia, SC. Jason was still working in fast food, as a manager, and we were not being able to make ends meet. With his whole family in the house to celebrate Christmas with us, we decided that we were going to make a huge change.

My father offered Jason a job, helping out with the pallet business. We were also offered a free place to stay. It sounded ideal. We moved on February 1st.

The free place to stay was a cute cottage with more charm than ammenities. It would have been a fun place to camp out in, but not so much fun to live in. It was a leaky stone cottage that was in need of an extreme makeover. The bathroom was unfinished. The heat wasn't working. Our bed was too big to fit into the bedroom Our table couldn't be set up. We really felt like we were camping for the whole 6 months that we lived there.

The job was not much better. My father has been his own boss for a long, LONG time. He was not used to having employees. He also was not used to having someone who questioned the status quo.

The final blow was the fact that my parents kept pushing ME to do things more their way, and go against anything my husband wanted to do. They didn't want to spend time with our daughter. And my dad? He basically told Jason to stop making suggestions for change, or leave.

So, we left. He got off of work on Friday, and we packed as much as we could and drove out of town on Monday. He didn't have a job. We didn't have anywhere to live. I was terrified.

We got back to Columbia, and found some friends from church were going to be out of town for a couple of weeks, so we were able to housesit while looking for somewhere to live. Jason went back to the restaurant and got his old job back. We finally found a place...

The price was right...and the size was okay...

...it was a shack....next to the city dump....

...it worked for a while. What it was....well, that's gonna take some explaining! Half of this "house" was a travel trailer...that was the half that was made up of the kitchen and bathroom, and a TINY little room that was probably intended as a bedroom. The other half was a room, the same length as the travel trailer, with a roof extending over the trailer. It DID have electricity. It did NOT have heat. We moved into it in September. and almost froze over that winter.

That winter was one we'll never forget.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Brought to you by too much of a good thing...




Your Star Wars Name And Title



Your Star Wars Name: Laupa Wegre



Your Star Wars Title: Notcho of Nosaj

Because we have been watching all of the Star Wars movies on TV this week, and, well, I just had to....

Movies R Us...

Me....



Your Movie Buff Quotient: 24%



You're a very typical movie goer. You like movies, but you are by no means a movie buff.

You've seen many of the biggest blockbusters, but you haven't really started digging in to the classics.






and my husband....



Your Movie Buff Quotient: 82%



You are a movie buff of the most obsessive variety. If a movie exists, chances are that you've seen it.

You're an expert on movie facts and trivia. It's hard to stump you with a question about film.

My blog is worth WHAT?!?


My blog is worth $22,017.06.
How much is your blog worth?

I could use that money now, so if anyone is interested, please contact me....

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Craziness

After the fiasco that has been the first week of baseball season here in baseball central, there will finally be games tomorrow. And, as is our tradition, we have attempted to stuff as much into one day as is humanly possible.

To that end, we have extra children spending the night tonight...*three* extra children. Two of those extra children are teenagers, and one is an eight year old. Yeah, we're crazy here. So, if you're keeping count, we have in the house at present:

one 4 year old
one 6 year old
TWO 8 year olds
one 10 year old
one (almost) 12 year old
TWO 13 year olds
one 14 year old
two adults**
and one cat.

Tomorrow night, just for fun, we're having another extra child come spend the night...just so the crazies can last a little longer....

Then there's baseball...three games tomorrow, two of them at the same time.
And I have my Brew Group meeting.
And my wonderful husband has to work.
And the usual Saturday fare...showers and house cleaning.

And, on top of that, I have work that needs to be finished. And blog entries to write, and blogs to visit....oh, yeah, the fun never ends.

So, if I survive the weekend again, I will be back with an update...and if I'm not back, you'll know I'm somewhere wearing one of those cozy jackets, bouncing off the padded walls of my new domecile....

**What? You thought I'd give away my age? Not on your life. At least my kids can't run up to you and blurt it out the minute they meet you....it is enough to tell you that I'm in my 30's!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Life is a Musical (and other fun fantasies)

FOOD COURT MUSICAL


FROZEN GRAND CENTRAL

Thursday Thirteen #14


Thirteen Things about living in military housing



1. Living in military housing is a money-saver for most housing areas.

2. We are surrounded by other military families with similar life experiences.

3. My children have a lot of friends who are military kids.

4. We never have to worry about paying the rent...it comes right out of the paycheck.

5. My neighbors are quick to make friends, because they know what it's like to move and not have many friends.

6. We're supportive of each other during multiple deployments and moves.

7. Just when you make new friends, they all move.

8. We have a safe place to vent a little about military life (without getting the stupid comments from less understanding civilians).

9. There is almost always something available at the next duty station.

10. There are NO convicted sex offenders living in military housing.

11. Where we are now, the electricity, gas and water are included in the rent.

12. The housing managers are very particular about what is allowed in the yards.

13. There is very little likelyhood that we will be evicted for no reason.



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, April 9, 2008

The "Given" Project

More from our church in Helena, MT.

Check out the websites, too....

Hannaford Street Bible Church

The "Given" Project

Life goes on....

...even when I miss a day of posting, and can't keep up with my house. Here, in the midst of things, I am adjusting my thinking.

I have the amazing ability to be overwhelmed with the smallest of things, and my life is not filled with just small things. Every day is crazy, and I still haven't succeeded in paring things down to a more manageable level. We HAVE cut out a few things, and it helps....but the biggest help so far has been changing my perspective...and talking it all out with my husband.

I am learning contentment with my life in this stage...because it WILL pass quickly. I am remembering that my life can (and has been) MUCH worse, and I am very grateful for every thing we have the opportunity to be involved in.

I am grateful that my kids have the opportunity to do baseball/softball...the fact that they can means that we had the money to pay for it all.

I am grateful for our church, and all the opportunities to be involved...for the Men's Brew Group, because that means that my husband has guys he can talk to and be accountable to. And, for the Women's Brew Group, because they're an awesome bunch of ladies who are encouraging and supportive, and I am making some amazing friends. And, for the Children's Ministry...because this is something I am proud my kids can be part of....

I am grateful for my house...that we're in military housing, because that means that I don't ever have to worry about us getting evicted over not paying the rent....or getting the electricity turned off...or the garbage not being picked up...or the repairs not being made.....

I am grateful for the vehicles we have....which are steadily getting paid off...relatively painlessly!

I am grateful for my hardworking husband, and all of my wonderful children.

And THAT is my perspective for today....now, I have to go work!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I am EXHAUSTED

I never realized how tiring it is to sit at my desk all day long, doing nothing more than typing, editing and emailing, and taking breaks to take care of the four year old, do laundry, run the dishwasher, meet the school bus to get the 6 year old, feed the cat, pick up the house, fix lunch....

I.am. wiped.OUT.

Thankfully, it is raining outside, and has been rainging since Friday night. The baseball fields are big mud puddles. All of the Opening Day activities were cancelled on Saturday. Today's practices were cancelled. I know the games will be rescheduled, but for now, I'm grateful. I needed the relatively slow day!

It's almost midnight, and I still have a TON of work to do....headed back to work...miss you guys!!

***And in other, terribly important news, Kansas accomplished an upset in the final game of the NCAA Championship. The husband changed it from my movie so he could watch it, and promptly fell asleep again. The most unfair part? He WILL KNOW who won, and what the final score was...and he was SNORING! How does he do that?!?!***

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More online fun




You Are a Colon



You are very orderly and fact driven.

You aren't concerned much with theories or dreams... only what's true or untrue.



You are brilliant and incredibly learned. Anything you know is well researched.

You like to make lists and sort through things step by step. You aren't subject to whim or emotions.



Your friends see you as a constant source of knowledge and advice.

(But they are a little sick of you being right all of the time!)



You excel in: Leadership positions



You get along best with: The Semi-Colon

HMPH....I don't know about all of that...I KNOW my hubby won't agree (at least with the orderly part)!!

The Given Project

Our amazing former church in Helena, MT has been attracting some pretty big attention in the last week or so. They have instituted a new program called "Given."

Our friend Eric, the music minister at Hannaford Bible Church, has posted about it on his blog, and recently did an interview with K-Love Radio. This is such a motivating idea...the idea of passing on the blessings we have received.

Go, check it out, and tell me what you think!

How many places have you been?



create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Memories (installment 13)

I survived the miscarriage...funny how circumstances where you wish you could just die make you stronger.

I went back to work eventually, and before too long I was pregnant again. My first baby was due in May...I was pregnant again in April...this baby was due on December 31st. I recognize now, that had I NOT had the miscarriage, I would not have my wonderful eldest daughter.

We were living WAY outside of Columbia, in a little trailer and commuting into town for work and church. We barely had enough room for the two of us. There was NO WAY we'd fit a baby in there, too. We started looking for another place, and eventually found an apartment, but our lease was up, and the new place wasn't going to be ready for another month. What to do?!?

What happened was that we moved in with Jason's parents for a month. THAT was interesting, and NOT something I would recommend. There were three generations living in that house, and I was pregnant with the fourth. Three women and one kitchen. NOT a great mix. That, and answering the phone...

"Hi, may I speak to Mrs. P?"

"May I ask WHICH Mrs. P you'd like to speak with? There are THREE of us!"


Fortunately, that was only for one month, and then we were able to move into our apartment.

Sometime during that time, I had a small wreck on my way back to work after lunch with my in-laws. It really wasn't bad, but I had just gone through a miscarriage, and I panicked. I was terrified that I was going to lose this baby, too. I'm sure that the girl that "T-boned" me was not thrilled about having to pay for my ambulance ride and ER visit, but I wanted to make sure my baby was going to be okay.

During this time, I went through two more jobs...I was working as a switchboard operator at the Bible college I graduated from, and then changed, and was working in a daycare. I learned from that, too...I learned that I never wanted to put my children in a formal daycare situation.

While I was working the daycare job, I was put onto partial bedrest, and had to quit my job. My fluid levels were low, and the doctors/midwives were concerned about the baby. Besides that, my baby was in the frank breech position, and I needed to concentrate on trying to get her to turn.

As I mentioned earlier, the baby was due on December 31...sometime in October (I believe), an external version was attempted...picture this...HEAVILY pregnant mom, laying flat on her back in the hospital bed, with external monitors attached, accompanied by husband. Enter midwife and doctor, plus a nurse or two. Doctor climbs up on the bed, over the mom, and midwife gets on the other side of the bed. Using all four hands, doctor and midwife attempt to physically turn the baby around, pushing on the outside of mom's overextended belly. It HURT. And....it didn't work. That baby was STUBBORN, and was comfortably wedged up under my ribs.


After that spectacular failure, a C-section was scheduled...10 days before the due date, so as to not allow me to go into labor with a breech baby. Frances Lillian was born, via C-section at 7:58 am on December 21st. We arrived home from the hospital on Christmas Eve....in time for Christmas lunch at our house with Jason's parents, grandmother, sister, niece, and sister's boyfriend. That was also the day we decided to move again....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What a Beautiful mind...

Scrolling Saturday, Edition 12

From the Scrolling Saturday site (many thanks to the lovely ladies running this batch of fun!):
Once again, please show a round of applause for another edition of...SCROLLING
SATURDAY! Yes, it's Saturday. Again. So, for all of my new little lovelies...go
and find yourself an unloved and virtually unwanted, archived post. Give it a
little smoochie. And...display it for your new friends to see. Yeah, I
know...it's that easy. Oh...you're sooooo welcome!!Have a wonderful Saturday, my
little friends!!xoxo

From my old blog, January 24th, 2008

This just in....
Right about the time I was thinking I would be able to go about the business of everyday life without thinking about my poor little baby out there somewhere in cyberspace...this floats into my inbox....

Thank you for submitting your story A NEW FAMILY for publication consideration
in A Cup of Comfort for Military Families.

I hope to select and notify finalists by March 1, 2008. Authors whose stories are not selected for publication in the book should receive status notices in by May 1, 2008.

Please note that deadlines are sometimes extended by 1 to 4 weeks.
Due to my heavy workload, I cannot respond to queries regarding the status of individual stories nor comment on the merits or demerits of a story.

I look forward to reading your story.


Oh, ugghh....back to worrying about my blood, sweat and tears..."will she like it? what will she think of it? Am I actually giong to be PUBLISHED?!?"

Okay, enough of that nonsense...back to real life...Mount Laundry is threatening to spew again...


For more Scrolling Saturday fun, go here


***EDIT: Sorry guys...I just realized...duh, the dates have passed...I am guessing that my story was NOT chosen, and I'll just have to try again. Yes, I have always written, but never attempted to get published before. Count this as my first rejection slip. Thanks for asking!***

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun Stuff

19

So, now you know!!

Happy Birthday, Love of my life!

I LOVED that long curly hair.
October, 1992


God has been SO good to us!

October, 2006

I will always love you!

February, 2007

You're a GREAT Dad to your kids!

August, 2007

You're hardworking and consciencious. I'm proud to be your wife.

March, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The church of Oprah

I have stated before that I don't watch Oprah...here, now is evidence to legitimize the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.



My next step? Pray for her. She's obviously misguided.

Thursday Thirteen #13




Thirteen Things that happen on Saturday...



  1. Little League Baseball Season starts!

  2. Which means PICTURES!

  3. 1st games for 3 teams.

  4. Hitting practice for the 10 year old.

  5. Spending all day at the ball park, starting at 8:45 am.

  6. Ladies' Brew Group, at 10:00 am.

  7. Opening Ceremonies at the ball park at 10:00 am.

  8. First game at 12:00

  9. Pictures for 12 year old at 12:20 pm.

  10. Another game at 2:00 pm.

  11. Unknown times for game and pictures for the 8 year old.

  12. Weekly housecleaning.

  13. Showers for all 8 people.

My weekend is looking CRAZY...What does yours look like? For more Thursday Thirteen participants, go here.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paring Down

Over the last couple of days, Jason and I have been talking about how we
can't do EVERYTHING. We get to this point every little while where we
realize that we're just TOO, too busy, and something has to go.

Jason is one of those people who can do a ton of things, and do them well,
and he gets charged up by being busy. Not me. I get overwhelmed in a
hurry. I have to have a bit slower schedule to stay sane.

I am reading a book that our Ladies' Brew Group is studying right now...it
is one that I read for a Sunday School class in Montana, and it has been good
for me to go back through it, and review...and God knew we'd need the lessons
I'm reading right now.

The book is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver, and
last night I was reading in chapter four, The Cure, where the author is talking
about remembering what Jesus said to Martha.

"Only one thing is needed."

  • It is not necessary for me to take on the Team Mom position...there are 30+ other moms out there for my kids' teams....I am the only mom that God gave to my children.
  • I do not HAVE TO be on the PTA/PTO for my children's schools...I am no less of a good parent for refusing.
  • I have not been asked (by God) to take on any number of (good) causes...He expects me to do a good job of the ONE thing He gave me to do...raising my children.

I am very good at taking on things...and then getting very overwhelmed. I do not think things through very well. I need to be more thoughtful...."Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Give careful thought to your ways.'" (Haggai 1:5)

So, in keeping with that, the author has thoughtfully provided some steps to sorting through the myriad of activities that present themselves.

    1. Make a list of all the activities you are involved in (children, work, church, etc.)
    2. Pray over and prioritize the activities according to importance, assigning each one a number from one to four.
    3. Eliminate all of the "fours."

So, Jason and I are in the middle of working through those thing in our lives that are making us crazy...somehow, saying "NO" at this point seems SO hard...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It was SUPPOSED to be a productive day...

...and then I got up. Honestly, I am looking around my house right now, and can't for the life of me figure out what I've done over the last few days. My house is a WRECK.

I KNOW I have washed dishes everyday, but they're all piled up on the counter again.

I know we've done multiple loads of laundry, and put away mountains of folded laundry, but the hampers are all overflowing and the sofa is covered in clean laundry again.

We've picked up and cleaned up, and put away, and washed, and dried, and folded, and swept, and taken out garbage, and done homework, and made it to baseball practices, and gone to the grocery store, and gotten everyone on their respective busses on time, and worked, and cooked meals, and eaten meals, and gone to various meetings....

....but somehow, if someone walked into my house right now, you'd never know that I cared about how it looks. No one could tell that we picked up several trees' worth of paper off the dining room floor, or that the whole alphabet has been put back onto the refrigerator 15 different times. Or that the pantry and refrigerator have been systematically emptied by the voracious beasts in my house.

Is it any wonder that mothers feel unappreciated? That we don't ever have the satisfaction of a job well done...especially since the job never is done, or once done, it is UNdone again in about 10 seconds flat....

So, for the record, I want you moms out there to know...I appreciate what you do. I appreciate all the long hard hours you put in. The lack of proper acknowledgement.

So, go, reward yourself. Go find those chocolates you hid away, make yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee, sit back, put your feet up, and remeber that you've earned your 10 minutes of rest and relaxation. But hurry, before the hooligans get off the bus, and you have to start all over again!!