Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hmmmm...something to think about....

From my friend Michael Williams:

Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:

"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"

"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"

"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft"


Headlines Today:

"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"

"Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"

"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"

"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sad Kids


A friend of our family from our church deployed today for several months. He has become almost a big brother to my kids over the last few months, and they were all sad to see him go. Both last night and this morning we dealt with some tears. We're all going to miss Carl.

So, my brain has totally imploded on me. Please help!! I need some ideas...ways for my kids to communicate with this friend, and to help him know that he still has people who care about him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beating Depression

I have discussed before the long battle I have had with depression. So when someone talks about ways to beat it, I listen. Thankfully, I'm not there right now...I intend to stay out of there.

Our pastor recently spoke about "How to Cheat and Win (over Depression)." You can listen to the whole message at http://www.realitychurchmedia.com/ and go to the How series.

I took some notes I wanted to share.

HOW TO: Cheat and Win (Over Depression)

Causes of depression are:
loss
rejection
insecurity
lack of fulfillment
uncertainty
meaninglessness

Elijah was depressed because
1. He was physically exhausted.
2. He was emotionally exhausted.
3. He had stinking thinking.

Steps to winning over depression:
I. Healing of relational environment
A. We are relational - we NEED relationships
-we need the right kind of friends
-we need mentoring relationships
B. Family relationships need to be fixed
Matthew 5:23-24
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."

II. We need to heal our whole person.
A. Healing the physical body - good food, enough sleep, etc.
B. Spiritual healing is necessary and most often neglected.
C. Mental/Emotional healing - destressing, etc.


5 Secrets to address the Spiritual side:
1. Know your meaning/purpose in life
Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

2. Serving - giving to others is healing
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

3. Forgiving - unforgiveness causes depression
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

4. Connect with God
I Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

5. Eradicating the guilt
James 1:14-15 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


I learned several things from this lesson. I learned that I had to change the way I think...what God calls "renewing your mind" because the things that happen in my brain are tainted by hurts suffered in the past, and things other people have told me...otherwise known as stinking thinking

I have to reconnect with God regularly because that stinking thinking sneaks up on me when I am not keeping Him at the center of my life.

I have to forgive those who have hurt me and taught me wrong.

I have to be actively involved in helping others.

I have to let God heal those hurting places in me, and take away the guilt and pain.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is pretty bad...

62%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Grace in everyday life


In my Brew Group from church, we are studying Chuck Swindoll's book, "The Grace Awakening." I am learning a LOT from this book. I'm getting some really unexpected things from it, including a more positive attitude about things, and patience. I really didn't expect patience.

I am learning a new respect for people who are different from me. I am learning a new respect and love for God, who continuously extends grace to us, even though we may not even be trying.

I am learning about loving...and learning about feeling loved in ways I never felt loved before. I am learning about loving others who may not be quite as lovable as I wish they were.

I am learning about myself, and how different I am than what I *thought * I was. That one hurts...a lot.

How about you? What are you learning this week?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Congratulations, Heather!

Heather was awarded a Citizenship Award at school today for Fairness.
Congratulations, my girl! I'm proud of you!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Photo Challenge Friday

Since my camera has been taking a vacation for the last few weeks, I had to scramble to get some pictures for today's challenge...and since my youngest is the only other human in the house with me today, she gets to star in today's challenge.

Presenting....Katherine...



So, as you can see, I couldn't decide which picture to use, though the last one is my favorite. This child LOVES to ham for the camera....



Friday, January 9, 2009

What kind of friends?


I have always had a difficult time making good friends.

As a child, we lived in a very exclusive community where our family was the newcomers. Even after 12 years, I never felt accepted. I am sure my mom never felt very accepted as well.

I left and went to college, and made a lot of friends. I had roommates and hallmates and classmates, and dormmates. I had choir friends and lunch and dinner friends. I still felt like an outsider.

We were married soon after college, and I had a whole new circle of friends...church friends, work friends, neighbors. I still felt like an outsider.

When we had been married for 7 years, my husband went active duty in the Navy and we started a whole new way of life. Our first move was to a Navy community in south Texas, where I first experienced the concept of the military family. I met amazing people from all over with a huge variety of experiences and backgrounds. I learned how to make friends quickly, because we don't have the luxury of settling in somewhere "forever" and we never know when our new friends will be transferred.

When we moved 33 hours away to Montana, I learned how hard it was to try to be a military wife in a non-military community...where people don't make fast friends quickly, and where you have to prove your staying ability before you will be accepted. After 4 1/2 years, I still didn't have any close friends. Oh, I had friends....church friends, neighbors, co-workers, customers....they were (and still are!) friendly enough, but I never found anyone I really connected with.

Now that we have been in Virginia for just over a year, I am actually finding good friends...people I can connect with...accepting and loving me where I am. I am feeling like I finally belong somewhere.

All of this has made me think a lot about how much effort we put into our friendships. I know we can't all be the "BEST FRIENDS" with everyone in our realm of influence. I just wonder how many of us go through our lives never really connecting with a good friend, one that will be with us through whatever direction our lives take.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, my son!












Happy 9th, my son. I am daily amazed at your sensitivity and your care for you friends. Keep that. Oh, and please stop "wiping off" my kisses. I love you!



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Week in Review

This has, of course, been an odd week. The kids are still out of school, and Jason is home...he only had to work on Monday and Tuesday, and then call in on Friday. It was an odd change of routine for me, so I really didn't get a lot done.

I DID continue with my walking plan. After I hurt my back in November, I had to stop walking and working out for a while. That was NOT helpful with the weight-loss plan. I have finally been able to start walking again, and the weather has cooperated, so far. Next week I hope to get back into going to the gym twice a week.

I had a WONDERFUL visit with friends on Wednesday. Especially cool that they matched ALL of my poor, lonely socks...both baskets full. I LOVE YOU GUYS!! THANK YOU!!

Wednesday night, we spent the evening hanging out with Jason's sister and her kids...alternately chatting, munching on snack food, losing money at Texas Hold'em, and watching the balll drop. It was a fun evening. Thanks, Jamie!!

Thursday we deep fried our second turkey for the year....It was yummy. Jason is still trying to find the perfect injectible marinade....

We've had sleep-overs, play dates, and parties all week long for various kids. Tonight, two kids are spending the night with friends. It's been a busy week.

Today, I got to relax for a couple of hours, sitting at Barnes and Noble, drinking coffee and reading, while I was waiting for the oldest and her friend from church.

I'm looking forward to next week....5:00 wake-up calls, kids in school and hubby back to work. Maybe I'll be able to catch up, yet again, on the laundry.

How was your week?

Friday, January 2, 2009

What, Me Insecure?!?

I have to keep re-evaluating my own mental health. From time to time, I get overly insecure and worry about EVERYTHING, and start driving my husband crazy. At that point I have to go back and look at what is affecting me this time.

So, yesterday I was going through this mental evaluation and something dawned on me that I probably should have recognized a long time ago.

See, I have this tendency to blame my depression, worry and insecurity on anything and everything but where it *should* be. If finances are tight, I blame it on money. If gas prices are going up, or my children are having trouble, or change is in the foreseeable future, I have something to blame it on.

Yesterday it dawned on me that even if I had a perfect life...lots of money, perfect children, faithful attentive husband, housekeeper, etc, I would STILL be insecure. My security does not/can NOT depend on circumstances.

Maybe this doesn't mean a lot to you, but to me, it was pivotal. I don't know why. I SHOULD have understood this a long time ago.

After all, I DO know that God is in control.
I KNOW that He loves me beyond anything I can imagine.
I KNOW that He will provide for all my needs.
I know these things, but for some reason I have been insecure for all of my life.

Pray for me, please, as I work on the transforming of my mind that needs to occur.

So, I guess that's my New Year' s resolution for this year....what is yours?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year from the Paxtons!

In lieu of a Christmas letter (which I have never been able to pull off), I am going to summarize our 2008.


Our 2008 began with Jason still in Montana, doing turn-over to the new supply person, and the children and I in Virginia, learning the area, and the children starting school, including Leah starting Kindergarten in the middle of the school year.



Over the course of the year, we saw...

*Jason driving back across country from Montana to Virginia.

*Laura starting a new job, as a private contractor doing medical transcription.

*Frances finishing 8th grade, and applying to and being accepted to the Global Studies and World Languages Academy.

*Jonathan finishing up 5th grade and moving on to 6th grade at Great Neck Middle School.

*Heather finishing 4th grade and beginning 5th grade.

*Justin finished 2nd grade and started 3rd grade.

*Leah finished Kindergarten and started 1st grade.

*Katherine turned 5, and has spent a lot of great one-on-one time with mom.



Jason has had a very successful year in 2008. He finished his turn-over in Montana in mid-January and drove across country to join us in Virginia, making a stop in Indiana with his Uncle Gary for the night. His new command put him in several challenging positions over the year, setting up a new area, being in charge of building maintenance, and then moving him back into his regular area of supply. He had two momentous occasions this year, being promoted to First Class Petty Officer in November, and graduating from Ashford University with a Master's Degree in Business Management. As we speak, he is preparing to begin another Master's Degree, in Theology, through Liberty. He is also very involved at our WONDERFUL church, Reality Church (http://www.realitychurch.com/), running sound, and with a Men's Brew Group. He has been able to take part in various activities through the year, including a Men's Retreat, and having the fun of playing with fire at various church cook-outs.


The children have all been busy this year, and seem to have adjusted well to their new schools and new friends in Virginia.


Frances finished out 8th grade at Great Neck Middle School, studying hard and playing the flute in the band. She made some very good friends, and kept her grades high. At the end of the school year, she applied for a program within the Virginia Beach school system called the Global Studies and World Languages Academy. She was accepted and started the new school year attending Tallwood High School, and playing the piccolo in the Marching Band. The Marching Band had a very successful season, and Frances is now playing in the Symphony Band. She is also doing very well accademically, and is learning a lot. She has also enjoyed getting to know some very good friends from our church, and was able to attend Winter Jam, King's Fest and Acquire The Fire with her youth group. Frances turned 15 in December, and is really looking forward to getting her learner's permit in June.


Jonathan (Jon) also had a busy year. The end of his 5th grade school year was a bit of a tough adjustment for him, but adjustments were made, and he finished well. He enjoyed the chance he had to act in a play at the end of the school year. He turned 12 in April, and was able to play baseball over the summer, and though his team didn't finish the season well, it was a learning and growing experience. Jon loves baseball, and is looking forward to playing again next season. He is now in 6th grade at Great Neck Middle School, and is learning to play the trumpet. His first performance was for the Christmas holiday concert. He also tried out for the football team, but did not make the team...maybe next year! He is also enjoying helping out at church with setting things up on Sunday mornings, and running the sound for the children's Adventure World, as well as learning in the youth class. He enjoyed attending Winter Jam with Frances, too.


Heather quickly adjusted to her new school, and finished out her 4th grade year very well. She made a lot of good friends, and was able to take part in several new activities. She also played baseball over the summer, and had the distinction of being one of two girls in their level of baseball. She has started off her new school year well, and is learning a lot. She is slowly outgrowing her tomboyish tendencies, finally being willing to wear girly clothes again, though still enjoys her baseball caps and ragged jeans. She loves art, and has the opportunity to apply for a special art class at the Old Dominion Center. Heather had her 11th birthday in November, and is growing by leaps and bounds.




Justin had a very good end of the school year, after having a bit of a bumpy year, with four different teachers over the course of the school year. He played baseball over the summer (fun trivial fact: all 3 baseball players were assigned to the Red Socks teams...a bit confusing for mom!), and his team had a winning season, not losing a single game. He is looking forward to playing again next season. He has made a couple of really good friends in the neighborhood, and enjoys playing PS2 games and having sleep-overs with them. Justin turned 8 in January, and is looking forward his 9th birthday in a couple of days.





Leah started off 2008 with the new experience of attending Kindergarten. She thoroughly enjoyed her class, and finished out that school year well, on par with the rest of her class, though she only attended school for half of the school year. She has learned to read and loves practicing for us. She has made several friends in the neighborhood, and some very good friends at church. Leah's 6th birthday was in March, and is looking forward to celebrating again in a couple of months. She is doing well in first grade, and loves riding the bus to and from school.






Katherine has had a very good 2008, spending her time at home with Mommy. She tells everyone that she is "doing school," and constantly draws pictures for the family, and asks how to spell words to make "invitations" for her friends. She is writing and is learning to read, as well, following in the steps of her brother, teaching herself. She turned 5 in December, and we celebrated for 2 weeks with her.








I have had a busy year, working and trying to keep up with the house, as well as the various other responsibilities that come with family life...taxi driver, secretary, chief cook, bottle washer, laundress, etc. In mid-January I started working as a medical transcriptionist, working from home, and have stayed busy with that all year long. I have had fun, meeting new friends at our new church, learning and growing through the Women's group. I enjoyed spending a weekend in Washington, DC, attending the Women of Faith conference in July, and taking part in the Ambassador Choir reunion in South Carolina in October. As a family, we also were able to visit with family in South Carolina in March and July, as well as spending Thanksgiving with my family in North Carolina, and with Jason's family in South Carolina.


I have taken up several new activities this year, in attempt to keep in touch with friends all over the country. In addition to this blog, you can find us on Facebook....search for both Jason and I on there. We LOVE keeping in touch with our family and friends, and look forward to hearing from all of you over the next year!