Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy Day, AGAIN

Baseball games, batting cages, movies, womens' group, house cleaning, showers, cooking for tomorrow.

I went walking this morning...and for a change it was warmer outside than in my house at 7:00 am. The breeze was nice, and I had a great walk.

I came back to the house, and took off again to go get cat food.

Came back, took a shower, fed kids breakfast, and left for my womens' group, leaving hubby to take care of getting kids to baseball (at 10:00 am) and the batting cages (at 10:00 am), more baseball games (at 1:00 am), pick up from batting cages (at 11:00 am), pick up her friend and take the two of them to see Prince Caspian with the youth group (at 12:35 pm).

I finished up with my (awesome) meeting, and headed back to get in some time by myself. When hubby got home, I headed over to see the remaining baseball games. #4's team won, again. #3's team is still in first place, though they lost today.

After the games were finished, we all headed home. I worked all afternoon, and the kids cleaned their rooms while hubby napped and we waited for #1 to call from her movie.

After getting #1 home, we went out for supper at CiCi's, and I stopped at Walmart on the way home to pick up cookie mix and cereal (spent less than $20!--successful trip to Wally!).

Now, hubby's sleeping, kids are in bed or the shower, and #1 child is baking cookies for the church picnic tomorrow....and I'm blog-hopping!!

Hope you are having a great weekend!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

My Week, in pictures

First there was a holiday, with no pictures.
Then, there were a million baseball and softball practices.
Next came baseball GAMES...

And HIS team is STILL undefeated!!




AND, her team is in first for their age bracket.





His team is dead last...but they're having fun!

And THEN art projects started coming home from school...




AND THEN I got this BEAUTIFUL necklace in the mail! How sweet is THIS?!?This was a prize from Heart of the Matter Online Magezine,
beautifully created by Kristen of Kristen's Custom Creations
THANKS, GUYS!!! It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!
And now, for some more beautiful little girls, 'cause you can never have too many cute kid pictures!!!Hope you all have a GREAT weekend!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #21


Thirteen More Google Searches that bring people here:


1. Sick and irritated with my husband - me, too, sometimes
2. Wubzy adventures - this seems to be a recurrent theme here
3. Non-Mennonite background - that's me!
4. Blogger mom Columbia, SC - I don't live there any more
5. Birthday party speeches oprah
6. Blogspot + camping trailer - huh?
7. Cradle + Mennonite + school - well, I DID go to Mennonite school
8. Love letter to Oprah - more Oprah
9. Did Dr. James Robison write a letter to Oprah? - yes, and you can see it here
10. Jealous letter - I don't know about this one...
11. The given project - see this one here
12. James Robison - a lot of this subject lately, too
13. Oprah, Eckhart tolle - and more...
14. No shorts in the Presbyterian church-this one is new to me
15. What not to wear devotionals - you can see my attempt here
16. Nashville smith baby crosspoint - and more on this here and here

ENJOY THE BONUSES!!!


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, May 28, 2008

For the fun of it




Your Bumper Sticker Should Be



Come to the darkside, we have cookies

For the fun of it




Your Ideal Hairstyle:



Sexy Waves

I think I got the right style after all....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First there was a break...

...and then life got crazy again.

This morning:
Hubby went back to work.
I started walking again.
Kids headed back to school.
I went back to work (like I ever left...I worked all weekend)

This evening:
#4 had baseball practice at 5:00
#2 had baseball practice at 5:30
#3 and #1 had practice at 6:00
#4 was done at 6:30
#2 was done at 7:00
#3 was done at 7:30
#1 was done at 8:00
Hubby was gone until almost 10:00 (men's Bible study)
and we had to fit homework and supper in there somewhere....

I'm tired.

Goodnight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memories (installment 19)

We were very anxious to get away from the trailer park, and some other neighbors who also went to our church were building through a USDA program for first time builders who didn't have great credit. It was a program meant for us!

We found some property, and went to work...okay, well, we went out and watched the builders at work! Our little house was beautiful! It was NEW, and was on just over an acre of land. True, it was a LONG drive to work, for both of us, but we loved our little house.

We finally moved out of the trailer on April 15th, 1998, and into our own home. OUR house. Three bedrooms, two bath, dishwasher, laundry room, back deck. It was amazing...and it was home.

During this time, Jason was working for the Department of Juvenile Justice as a prison guard. One day, when he was still in training, I found him cleaning all of his pictures out of his wallet and taking off his wedding band. When I asked why, he said that he was going to be working in maximum security with sexual offenders. He did not want any of them to know that he had a family.

Our little house was in Gilbert, SC, in Lexington County. We liked Lexington County, but, again it was a LONG ways for both of us to drive to work, church, or to spend time with Jason's family. We still weren't talking to my family.

During the move, Jason hurt his back, and while he was recovering, started looking for another job. The career change he was looking for came in the form of truck driving school. He was at school for 3 weeks, passed his test and was offered a job which he took.

He started driving Over The Road (OTR) for Swift Transportation, delivering car parts in SC and Michigan (?). He was gone a LOT, but in the beginning, he was team driving with another guy because he was in training.

I was still working, taking care of my three children, loving our new house....and looking forward to the times my husband was home. Little did I know what this was preparing me for.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Teachable Moments

Does any parent *ever* feel prepared for THOSE discussions with their children?!? You know the ones...where stereotypically the parents are more embarrassed by the discussion than the children are...Actually, the one I had today had nothing to do with embarrassing subjects. Just ones that are hard to discuss on any front.

I had the s-x discussion with my 14 year old a couple of years ago..it really wasn't too bad. I'm hoping that my husband has had a similar talk with our 12 year old...still need to ask him about that. (ACK!) I think I'm about due to have the same talk with the 10 year old. We're late-bloomers in our house...really....the 14.5 year old is still, by definition, a child. Yeah.

So, back to the subject at hand. My 12 year old said that he liked a girl at school and wanted to go on a date. ACK! NOT ready for that. But, I decided to redeem the moment...making the most of him creating the opening.

I asked him what he liked about this girl....she's pretty and she likes to goof around. Pretty much what I expected. Nothing profound.

We talked about the fact that he won't get to date...that he's too young, and that if by some coincidence he got to go out, he'd have the company of either his mother or his father for the whole "date." Even his 14 year old sister has yet to have a "date."

Then we talked about what dating REALLY was...preparing for marriage. About the whole thing of trying to figure out ahead of time what kind of person he is interested in. About understanding about personality differences, and being unequally yoked. About learning to know someone by how they respond to other people, and with their parents. About how getting to know someone in a group is preferable to a single date where each is trying to impress the other.

I think I overwhelmed him. I actually hope I did. I am NOT ready for him to date yet. And if I scared him a little bit, that's not such a bad thing, is it? He's got PLENTY of time to date....after he's 25 or 30 or even 40!!! (okay, so his dad was married at 19[WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?], but my brothers both got married after 30).

All of that to say that taking advantage of teachable moments is how parenting works best for us...if I had to CREATE the chance to say all of that stuff....I'd be WAY stressed!! Another side benefit of being home with my kids!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Desks

NO DESKS

Back in September of 2006, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a Social Studies teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission from the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor took all of the desks out of her classroom.

The kids came into class first period, and found there were no desks. They looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, Where are our desks?"

She said, "You can have a desk when you tell me correctly how you earn it."

The students thought: "Well, maybe it's our grades."

"No," she said.

"Maybe it's our behavior."

She told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."

First period came and went...still no desks in the classroom. Second period; third period - the same thing. By early afternoon, television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren's classroom to find out about the crazy teacher who had all the desks taken out of her room.

During the last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They sat on the floor around the sides of the room.

She said, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that ordinarily sit in this classroom. Now I'm going to tell you."

Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. As she did, 27 U.S. Veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom. Each one carried a school desk. The Veterans placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall.

By the time they had finished placing the desks, the kids, perhaps for the first time in their lives, understood how they earned their desks.

Martha said, "You don't have to earn the desks. The Veterans did it for you. They put them out there for you. It's up to you to sit here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have your desk. Don't ever forget it."

My friend, I think sometimes we do forget. The freedoms we have are because of ordinary people who did extraordinary things; who loved this country more than life itself and who not only earned a school desk for a kid at the Robinson High School in Little Rock, but who earned a seat for you and me to enjoy this great land we call home, this wonderful nation that we better love enough to protect and preserve.

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE.

******

I hope you all have a GREAT Memorial Day weekend, and remember to thank any and all veterans you come across for the freedoms you enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #20


Thirteen Things my kids do to avoid getting ready for school



1. Sleep...because everyone knows that 9 hours is not enough sleep.

2. Wander around the house.

3. Play with the cats.

4. Play with the siblings.

5. Pick on the siblings.

6. Say, repeatedly, without looking anywhere, "I don't have anything to wear!"

7. Dig through the laundry that should have been folded and put away the night before.

8. Alternately, dress quickly, slurp down breakfast, and run outside to play catch.

9. Stand in front of the open refrigerator, staring blankly.

10. Stand in front of the open pantrry, staring blankly.

11. Sit at the table, chewing every bite slowly, while reading the back of the cereal boxes.

12. In the last 2 minutes before the bus arrives, rush frantically around the house looking for shoes, papers, backpacks, etc.

13. Hurry BACK in the house, AFTER the bus is already waiting for them, to put away baseball gloves, or find that last thing they HAVE TO take to school today.

I LOVE my kids. They drive me CRAZY! Summer's gonna be a BLAST!!



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, May 21, 2008

Responding to Failure

I have been sorting things in the garage. It's a mess out there, and it's terribly tiring work. I'm finding all kinds of interesting stuff. I'm going through boxes of papers, and running my shredder like crazy.


I'm also finding things that I am keeping...and sitting down to read every once in a while, remembering. Honestly, this is the most tiring part of the sorting...because emotional baggage is tiring.


As you know, if you've read here for a while, Jason and I have been through a LOT. Rather, I should rephrase...GOD has brought us through a lot. Some of it has been pretty ugly. We've made bad decisions. We've attempted to do the right thing. I've talked too much about the things that we've done...unfortunately, I'm not done with it. But that is not what I want to cover here.


What I want to cover is how the church responds when other Christians make bad decisions, give in to temptation, and otherwise fail to live up to what we're supposed to be. In other words, when Christians act like the sinners we really ARE...


Let's face it, every time this discussion comes up, we'd all like to say that we are exempt from temptation...that *I* won't be the one who makes bad financial decisions, cheats on my spouse, breaks the law, etc. Realistically, we KNOW that we are just as susceptible as the next guy or gal, but we tend to bury our heads, or adopt the attitude of "ignore it and it will go away."


Then, when someone else fails, how do we respond?


We've heard a LOT of terrible responses from Christian brothers and sisters who should have known better. A lot of people in churches seem to react to others' failures by kicking the hurting person while they are already at a very low point. Even church leaders have been known to do this.


Scripturally, I believe this is the wrong response.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:9a Love must be sincere.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Paul is building on a theme here, that people that are Christ's followers are supposed to be DIFFERENT. We are not only changed on the outside, but also on the inside. We are supposed to respond to people lovingly, rejoicing with those who rejoice, and mourning with those who are mourning. EVEN when they are mourning a bad decision that they have made. When they are mourning their sins.

So, my take on this is just that...my take....and here it is.

The Family of the Church is a HOSPITAL for hurting people. We welcome and look for people who are hurting, because we have something to give them. We have THE source of all healing. We have access to the Great Physician. He is the one who can heal all of the hurting people.

Every member of this HUGE Family is at some stage in their own personal healing process. We've all be hurt and are convalescing. NONE of us are beyond that. NO ONE is completely healed.

We tend to forget that we ARE still healing after we've been doing this Christianity thing for a while. We forget that we WERE hurting a LOT more....that we have been there in the past...and that there is a possibility of each of us falling back into it again.

AND, because we forget where we've been in the past, we are VERY hard on our brothers and sisters who are hurting right now. We expect THEM to be perfect. We forget to extend the grace to them that has been extended to us.

We have a responsibility to NOT respond that way. We have a RESPONSIBILITY to respond like we HAVE been changed. To extend grace, loving our HUGE extended Family the way that we want to be loved. To be who Christ called us to be.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Hair cut

I am a Hair Stylist's worst nightmare. I HATE getting my hair cut. I never can get it done how I want it...so I wait FOREVER for it to grow back in, and think and think (and think and think some more) about what I want to do with my hair.

I grew up in a community where women DID NOT get their hair cut....EVER. Not to cut off the dead ends. Not to even it out. Not to thin it. NEVER. It didn't matter how it lay...because it was never down...it was always worn up, in a bun, so seeing those beautiful waves (or not) was not an issue.


I got my first hair cut in college...or was that after college? I don't remember any more. I just know that it was TRAUMATIC. All I did at that point was get the dead ends cut off. At that point, there were something like 20+ years of split, dead ends.


So, every time I get it cut, it takes me a while to work up the nerve to do it again. While we were in MT, I got my hair cut about every six to nine months. The last time I got my hair cut was in October, last year, while we were still in Montana.
Saturday, between running kids to baseball games, I bit the bullet and got my hair cut.


Obviously, I am not so good at the self-portraits yet.
So, there is my new haircut...which, if left to its own devices, will look like an 80s hairdo, minus the hair spray.
I am not sure I like it, but there it is, in all its glory...

Job Description

I received this in my email this morning...

Mom's Impressive Job Description

Author and preacher Tony Campolo said that when his wife, Peggy, was at home full time with their children and someone would ask, "And what is it that you do, my dear?" she would respond, "I am socializing two Homo sapiens into the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition in order that they might be instruments for the transformation of the social order into the kind of eschatological utopia that God willed from the beginning of creation."

Then Peggy would ask the other person, "And what do you do?"

—John Ortberg and Ruth Haley, An Ordinary Day with Jesus (Zondervan, 2001), p. 122; submitted by Dave Slagle, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Monday

Today started off pretty well...and kept going that way. The kids all had a good day at school. This is testing week for the 5th grader....next week for the 4th grader. Tonight, we had one baseball game and one practice. The oldest heard from the mission board again, and got a call from a friend in Montana. I worked, hubby worked, and the cats aren't fighting as much. Oh, and I got some cleaning done. All in all, a good day.

Thanks for coming by!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Memories (installment 18)

My pregnancy was uneventful. We were still living at the bug-ridden trailer. I was still working my dream job. The other two kids were growing and beautiful kids. We still were not talking to my family.


I travelled for training during that pregnancy...the company flew me to Kansas City to company headquarters for a week's training. That was a fun trip...nice motel room, fun people to work with, learning more about how big of a company I was working for, dinner out, shopping in downtown KC, KC Royals game, and an Alabama concert. While I was gone, Jason was busy, too.


Remember that trailer we were living in? The one with the bugs, and spiders and bad septic system?

Yeah, we were still there.

And those cockroaches...ohmygoodness...the cockroaches...they were makin' whoopi...all 27,000 of them....and multiplying....every day....oy!


It. was. AWEFUL.


So, while I was away, playing in KC, Jason moved himself and the two kids to his mom's and bombed the place.


No, nononono....NOT that kind of bomb. Unfortunately.


He set off something like 3 bug bombs in that little trailer. And then left them to it. And came back the next day.


Oh. My. Word.


The cockroaches. Thankfully I didn't have to see this part. I could NOT have done it. As he related it, every square inch of that place was COVERED in dead cockroaches. Every inch of the floor. The cabinets. The drawers. It was DISGUSTING. My husband, my hero, cleaned out all of the cockroaches. His mother...the saint...she came and washed every single dish in my kitchen, and wiped everything down.


And then he picked me up at the airport on Friday....and took me home to my bug-free trailer...


...which was only bug-free for about another week....until the left-over eggs hatched.


That was in August. In November, Heather Lorraine was born...my Thanksgiving baby. About that time, we started talking about building a house...We HAD TO get out of that trailer park!!
And THIS is Heather and I at a work event. Because Heather went with me to work for 6 months. And I had a nursery set up for that little girl in my office....did I mention that this was my dream job?!? Oh, yeah, that was an AWESOME place to work!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Progress Is A Beautiful Thing

But, when progress involves one cat peeing on my brand-new bed, progress is interupted.

So, the first cat, the lovely Nibbles
is banished...to the garage.

The second cat, the beautiful Pheobe
spent much of the day in the garage, as well.

It was NOT pretty. But, there IS progress.

Pheobe is back in the house.
Nibbles is still in the garage.
But she is happier with me.
She lets me hold her.
She even purrs.

THAT is progress.

The other piece of news...is BASEBALL.

All three children in baseball played this morning at 11:00 a.m.
All three children who played WON.
That means that one child's team is still undefeated...
and the second child's team still has a pretty decent record...
and the third child's team has finally won a game...
but he was not chosen for the All Stars...
which is JUST FINE with me (though he was a little disappointed).

THAT is also progress.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Five Things Meme

I got tagged for this meme by Ruth.




1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.



What were you doing five years ago?

  1. Living in Texas.

  2. Growing baby #6

  3. Getting ready to move to Montana.

  4. Finishing up my stint as Ombudsman for the ship hubby was on.

  5. Homeschooling 3 children.


What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

  1. Laundry.

  2. Dishes.

  3. Work (I do medical transcription).

  4. Shopping for TP, and other necessities.

  5. Date night with hubby.


What are five snacks you enjoy?

  1. Chocolate.

  2. Fresh fruits or veggies.

  3. Jelly beans.

  4. Gummy Bears.

  5. Cheese and crackers.


What five things would you do if you were a billionaire? (Like Ruth said, this is a hard one!)

  1. Pay off all of our debts.

  2. Pay off both sets of parents' debts.

  3. Set up the counseling center that is hubby's dream.

  4. Adopt children.

  5. Support adoption agencies and all of my missionary friends.


What are five of your bad habits?

  1. Worrying.

  2. Procrastination.

  3. Nagging my husband.

  4. Trusting the wrong people and not trusting the right ones.

  5. Eating too much.


What are five jobs you’ve had?

  1. Short-order cook and switchboard operator (in college).

  2. Secretary/receptionist (at MANY different places).

  3. Overnight Cashier at Walmart.

  4. Medical transcriptionist.

  5. Mom to 6 kids.


What five people do you want to tag?

  1. Sarah

  2. Jennifer

  3. Ms. Amazed!!!

  4. Mama Bear Penelope

  5. Wendy

HAVE FUN!!!

The newest member of the family

Some friends had a cat that needed a new home, so I talked to my husband about it, and we brought her home. Her name is Pheobe, and she is GORGEOUS. Unfortunately, our other cat, Nibbles, is NOT happy. My husband thinks she will get over it, and they will eventually get used to each other. I am concerned. Nibble is hiding in the back of a closet and when she comes out to eat or use her litter box, there is a LOT of loud unhappy kitty sounds. So, I'm not sure what to do...any ideas?


In the mean time, some pictures of Pheobe....


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #19



Thirteen Random things about my week.


1. I am afraid that my night is shot...There is a cat-fight happening. In. My. House.


2. The new kitty (Pheobe) and the old kitty (Nibbles) have decided that they intensely dislike each other.


3. Is anyone else tired of baseball yet? This week we've had 1 baseball game cancelled, 1 softball game cancelled and two practices cancelled, plus one missed for other reasons.


4. My eldest had a Band Concert at school that she had to be at, instead of making it to softball practice.


5. My oldest child is getting to be quite a young lady, and I am really not ready for that.


6. My baby is growing up, too, and I find I am not ready for that, either.

7. My youngest three children make all kinds of crazy faces every time I get out my camera.

8. I haven't yet tried to use PhotoShop or some other editting program, or I would fix that poor girl's red-eye.

9. I am really scraping the bottom hard tonight...but I'm tired from staying up to late, working.

10. Really. Working. Typing. NOT JUST BLOGGING.

11. On the positive side, I have gotten more done around my house this week, which really does make me feel better about myself. Amazing.

12. I made a bjillion calls to the housing office this week to get some work done in this house.

13. One of the things that they are supposed to be fixing is the MOLD growing on the ceiling in the garage. We'll see how soon THAT gets done. Yeah, they had the remidiation guy out here that afternoon, but that was on Tuesday. Any bets on how long it will take to get them out here to actually DO the work?!?

Alright, that's it...though I'm sure I could come up with more if I could just stay a...w...a...k...e. So, since I really need to sleep before I have to get up again in about 5 hours, go see the read the rest of the Thursday Thirteeners!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fun Stuff




Your Vocabulary Score: A



Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.

My Favorite Memory as a Mom

Darcy, at Graphically Designing is doing a blog make0ver giveaway....Go see what she has to say, and come back and read my story.....





My Favorite Memory as a Mom


As a mom, I struggle with the notion that I am not supposed to favor one child over another. We all know that the child most like us in personality will grate on our nerves, and the most pleasant child will be something akin to our favorite. Don't get me wrong. I love all of my children. I don't like them all the time, but I most certainly love them all, wholeheartedly.


When I was a new mom, trying hard to fulfill all of the expectations of new moms everywhere, parenting was not fun. It was WORK. Now that I am not-so-new at this parenting thing, I am better able to back off of the seriousness of it all, and enjoy my children a bit more.


We just moved (again) in November of last year, and my "baby" turned four in December. She is amazing to watch, and a joy to everyone. She loves people, and in a group where she barely knows anyone, will go around giving leg-hugs to everyone. She was born in Montana, and until we moved, had lived there all of her life...rarely being exposed to people of different skin tones.


We found our new church very shortly after moving, and quickly got involved in small group. The group we were involved in was diverse with a lot of kids, and a few adults, several Caucasian, several African-American. As we spent more time with this group, we were quickly accepted and loved.


One Tuesday night at our group get-together, the kids were being rowdy and my "baby" got hurt, so she ended the meeting sitting in with us. Afterwards, I was sitting, talking with one of the ladies...a beautiful African-American lady who loves God with all her heart and has a special ministry to the children in our church. My baby sat and watched this lady for a while, then reached out and rubbed her hand over the other lady's, and said..."God made you brown. He made you perfect."


Both of us looked up at each other with tears in our eyes. My beautiful, innocent little girl stated God's heart for different people so perfectly. I will never forget that moment that my baby relayed that thought and showed that everything that we've been trying to teach her has actually taken root in her little head, and helped me realize that all of the hard work is SO worth it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tell Me Your Story Bloggy Carnival



Mamavice





DidiLyn over at Meyers on the Hood is hosting a truly unique Bloggy Carnival this week called “Tell Me Your Story.” All I have to do is tell MY story...should be easy enough, right?



I grew up in a Christian home. We were in church every time the doors were opened. The church I grew up in was very rules-oriented, and the rules made life difficult. I also attended the school run by the church.




I learned a lot about God while in this church. I learned that Jesus had died for my sins. I learned that all I had to do was to ask Him to come live inside of me. I knew all of this from an early age. In my child's mind, I didn't want to do that yet. I had a lot of time. I was scared that if I did ask Jesus into my life, I wouldn't have any more fun. And fun was much more important to me than was praying or having God in my life.




During this time frame, a new Christian radio station came on the air. There were lots of boring preachers on there, and lots of great music. I loved listening to the music. There was also a time on Saturday mornings set aside for children's programing. I LOVED listening to the stories. The Lone Ranger. Fibber McGee and Molly. The Green Hornet. The Children's Bible Hour. I loved them all. I could be transported out of my life in my imagination and live these great stories.




I listened to the children's stories for a lot of years, and loved every single week that I had the chance to listen. Every single week, there were great teachings...stories and object lessons reinforcing things I had already learned in church, Sunday School, school and Vacation Bible School. Every week, Uncle Charlie on The Children's Bible Hour invited children to pray with him. Every week I justified to myself why I didn't need to pray just yet.




The year I turned 11 was a difficult one for our family. We were living on the dairy farm and working 15 to 18 hour days. My mom was dealing with health issues. My brothers and I were dealing with some not-so-nice children in school. I was become the very introspective and shy child I remained the rest of the way through the rest of my school years. I really started thinking about what it would mean if I were to die...what would happen to me after dying. I knew that Jesus had died so I wouldn't have to be punished for my sins.





Finally, in September, while listening to Uncle Charlie yet again, I decided that it was time. I wanted to have some kind of security in my life, and this was the only way I could think of making my ultimate future secure. I prayed along with Uncle Charlie on September 11, 1980, and asked Jesus to come live in my life.




I really wish that praying the prayer changed my life completely. I don't have one of those testimonies, where asking Jesus into my life completely transformed me. I had already been living a good life, attending church, and trying to please my parents. I continued down that same road. I didn't have any great teaching. I still attended church. I graduated from our church's school. I went to a Bible school. I took notes on sermons. Then, I applied for Bible College.





I loved college. I was not nearly as sheltered. I was learning. I was getting to know this God to whom I had committed my life. One of the best things I started learning in Bible College was that I was LOVED. That God truly loved me. And that He wanted me to KNOWN that love.




And today, 28 years after accepting that gift of LOVE that He gave me, I still feel like I am only just now STARTING to know a little about His love for me.





And that, my friends, is MY story. To read more stories, go see DidiLyn!





I really DID have a good Mother's Day!


I KNOW I am loved...but I just have to share the love....




Please ignore the boxes in the background...



From the 6-year-old




From the 14-year-old



Again, from the 6-year-old



From the 10-year-old



This and the next 3 pictures are all from the 8-year-old.



And this one is from our church.

My husband fixed lunch...I LOVE a man who can COOK!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Leftovers

I have a VERY hard time every year with Mother's Day.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE being a mother. I love my own mother. I love my mother-in-law.

For a lot of years I had a very poor relationship with my mother. I have posted about it before. It HAS gotten better, but I don't have any sticky-sweet stories to tell about our relationship. Very little of it was sweet and a lot of it was sticky...

So, every year in the aftermath of any major or minor holiday, I get a bit depressed. I grieve the relationship I have never had with my mother. I miss the mother-daughter times we've never enjoyed.

I have a different relationship with my children, especially with my daughters. I know that things may change as more of them become teenagers. But for now, I have a close relationship with them. I hope to maintain that. I hope the pain of my relationship with my mother helps my daughters and I build and maintain a better relationship...

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have rediscovered why I intensely dislike living in the Southeast during the winter and spring.

According to Wikipedia:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is a mood
disorder
whose sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of
the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter. As stated by the U.S.
National Library of Medicine:

"Some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They
may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They
may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear
up."[1]

I have known for quite a while that I was affected by this...though never officially diagnosed...but living in Montan, I really was not affected quite as much. Now that we are back in the Southeast, however, it is raising its ugly head again. Overcast and rainy days seem to affect me the most.

Then, I add in the fact that I am busier than I like, and my house is falling apart, and I am tired...all of this is a recipe for disaster. I don't ever want to go back to where I was before.

Then, just to help me feel a bit LESS loved, my wonderful bloggy friends get busy and forget about me.

Hopefully tomorrow will be sunny....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

This is dedicated to two increadible moms in my life....



My mother...



With my sister and my oldest child...



And my Mother-in-law....

with my family and wonderful Father-in-law...

Thank you for all you have done over the years for each of us!!