Friday, November 21, 2008

A little of this and a little of that...

I don't have anything real significant to say or a really great story to tell, so for my family that keeps up with us through my blog, here are a few tidbits of what went on in our lives this past week...

Jordan went hunting two days after school with Kevin. He is really into hunting right now as long as his fearful nature (which he inherited fro his mom) doesn't get the better of him. He overheard the "old" men talking about bears and bobcats around the campfire one night and Kevin has had a very hard time convincing him that there haven't been any "lions, tigers and bears" around camp for a very long time...I did say it was the "old" men scaring my baby, didn't I? Anyway, it hasn't kept him from going, but you can tell he thinks about it when he goes!

Jordan also had "book fair" this week. I always tremble when I send money with him to the book fair. He is not my reader. He reads well, but doesn't enjoy it one bit! For example, Kayla has asked for some books for Christmas, a series she is reading. Jordan? No way is he going to "ask" for a book unless it is a special event like the book fair. I was happy. He actually came home with 2 books among the posters, pencils and bookmarks. there is hope...

today was Grandparent's day at Jordan's school. Kevin's parents went and ate lunch with him. Grandpa told Kevin later that he thought maybe Jordan didn't really want him there, because he wouldn't introduce them. I asked Jorboy about it, to which he replied: "I didn't want to get in front of the class and do it! My friend Clint didn't do it either!" Oh well! Truth is I know he wanted them to come because he invited them himself, so he probably was just a little embarrassed! Boys!

Kevin had to drive the Senior adults to a really nice restaurant in the next town, last night. He invited Kayla to go with him, since he hasn't been able to spend much time with her lately. It was their daddy-daughter date and the senior adults ate the idea up. Kevin certainly earned brownie points last night!

Kayla had her flute test today. She has been very nervous about it all week. The test was to decide what "chair" she would be. She hasn't found out the results yet, but is a very happy camper that it is over. She said she wasn't the best or the worst, so hopefully that means it will all turn out OK.

Kevin was acknowledged with a little bonus at work for all his hard work this year, helping with the music, while our church searches for a music minister. It was a nice gift and it made Kevin feel good to be appreciated. He has also been excited for the Monticello football team. He is the team chaplain and meets with them every week, prays with them, shoots video during games and shows highlights, etc... Well, our team is doing very well. Hopefully they can keep on winning. Kevin says if they stay on top of their game, that they are good enough to go to state. He would love for them to and for them to win, because as chaplain he would get a championship ring too! Boys!

I'm happy because they finally separated the babies from the walkers at work. I thought I was going to have a mild heart attack daily from nerves, keeping walking babies from falling on, throwing things or hurting the newborn babies. It has been a lot easier since the change.

I have also been able to help my sis out this week and have fun while doing it. Just call me the official salesperson for NOLA MAE. It has been fun! And yes, Amber, your pendants are cute!

As for the weekend...hopefully a win at the football game tonight and hunting tomorrow for the boys, a birthday party for Kayla and a lot of house cleaning for me. I will say that my husband was really sweet today and washed a lot of my laundry for me this afternoon. Wow! Another night of brownie points for him!

Well, I will wrap this up. It is my goal to show you a picture of a new and improved office sometime soon... I better get my own whip a crackin'.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Picture Madness!

Every fall it happens...I TRY to make an attempt to take pictures of my kids for Christmas cards. The problem comes when my kids decide they have better things to do with their time than to "cheese" at the camera. The impromptu photo shoot usually ends with someone mad,(ME!) someone frustrated, (ME!) and someone wanting to pull their hair out! (ME!!!) I understood when my kids were two, four and even six, but at the ages of "10" and "12," you would think they would know how to be still and smile for ten minutes!!! Evidently not! Our first attempt started before Sunday School this morning and ended in a shouting match. The neighbors probably thought we needed to go to church, the way we were shouting at each other. The before church fight ended when I made them both feel lousy for treating their mom that way and a promise that they would smile for me after church was over... Well, I have to say they didn't fuss about taking the pictures, no they just decided that this time they would act stupid and thought everything was hilarious. What's a mom to do? I did get a few, very FEW decent shots, so this mom will hopefully have another moment to be able to torment her kids and get a few more. In the meantime, if that photo opportunity doesn't happen, I need a little help... Please let me know which picture is your favorite, just in case I have to use one of these. However, I am hoping there will be some picture moments ahead with the holiday coming up.
Photo #1
(what do you think of Jordan's "Zack and Cody" hair? I think he needs a trim!)

Photo #2
(I don't know why this picture is showing up fuzzy. It isn't on my camera.)

Photo #3

(Oh, they do love each other! Sniff, sniff, tear. :) )

(Note to my sister: did you see what Kayla was wearing around her neck? She liked it a lot!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's not fair!!!

If you read my last post, you would have read where my daughter has a crisis and thinks life "is not fair!" Tonight as I am typing this, I couldn't agree with her more. Tomorrow and Friday are teacher workshop days, which means no school for my kids...they get a four day weekend! And of course my husband has decided to only work half the day tomorrow. He said something about spending "quality time" with his son on the deer stand. :)

Now you can ask me what I am doing tomorrow...I have to work. Yes, you heard right. I have to get up at 5:30a.m. and be at work by seven. I haven't heard one "I'm sorry" from any of my family. No offers to clean house while they are off. No "we will handle dinner, Mom." No sympathy...

If I'm honest, I have to say I'm jealous. I think I will pout a little and steal my child's favorite phrase: "It's not fair!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It all started about a cell phone...

I have a 12 year old girl. If you are reading this right now and have ever had kids and have been through the "tween" years, then I know you have stopped reading and you are on your knees praying for me at this moment...thank you. If you are not there yet, with your kids, then you need to stop and pray for yourself and the years to come. You will need it!!!

My husband is a youth minister. I was an 18 year old when I met him and he is going on 20 years of ministry. I am as prepared as I can be, for those crazy teenage years, HOWEVER, I don't think you can ever be prepared for the hormones that come with it! Ouch! There are days when I have this little girl full of hugs and laughter, then there are days when the same little girl is busting at the seams, mad at the world and then there are days like today...your heart breaks.

It all started about a cell phone. I had to drop my kids off at their grandma's, early Monday morning, because my husband was hunting and I had to go to work and I needed someone to take them to school. I wasn't even to work, before my cell phone rings. It is Kayla. She is a sobbing mess. All I can hear between tears is "it's not fair!" Which if you are a parent, well you know you hear that phrase a couple of zillion times a week. Finally, I was able to decipher the problem in between the sobs; it was simple... my niece got a cell phone. Upon entering the house that morning, Kayla was given the news that her cousin, who is the same age as her, had a new cell phone. Heaven help me!

Have you ever wanted something so bad, that it consumed you? It didn't matter that you really didn't need it, have the money for it, etc... YOU JUST WANTED IT! Well, my daughter, like every other tween kid in the nation, thinks she needs a cell phone. Truthfully, my husband and I haven't really discussed when she might have her wish fulfilled, but it was certainly not Monday morning! I still can't even understand why she even needs one at her age, well that is until today...

I came home today and was greeted once again with an explosion of emotions concerning her cousin getting a cell phone. After several brutal rounds, I won most, but she got her jabs in, I finally got to the real issue. She truly believes that a cell phone will help her make friends, help her fit in better. My heart broke as she cried. It almost made me want to run out and buy her a phone...I said "ALMOST."

The thing is, she has many friends that are in that popular group at school, yet she doesn't feel a part. they invite her to parties, they've come over to our house and they are all sweet to her, yet, she is still left feeling like an outsider. Instead of talking, kids now spend most of their time downloading ring tones, taking pictures with their phones or playing games. If you don't have a phone, well, you are out of the loop.

Just the other day, a girl from church, told Kayla a secret and said she felt Kayla was a good friend and listener. However, try telling a 12 year old that that is a more important quality to have, than the latest gadget. Try telling your daughter that it is more important to be respectful of others, to be kind and a good friend yourself, than to be able to say you have a cell phone. Try get the picture?

I'm not sure when my daughter will get her first phone. (What ever happen to just having a phone in your room??? ) It could be next week, next year or three years from now. Truth is it really doesn't matter. I know how this it will be a car or dating or makeup or...
I was a kid once. I have known what it felt like to be on the outside looking in. As a parent, I wish I could make everyone like her or include her. As someone who has been there once upon a time, I want to say "What doesn't kill you, will make you stronger." The way I see things now, is if you have to have the latest material things for people to like you, then that is not saying much about who you are as an individual.

Kayla is very loving. She is kind. She would like to change the world if she could. She is a keeper of secrets. She is a good friend. She is still adjusting from losing a lot of good friends when we moved last year. She is still trying to find her place...but wait aren't we all? Do we ever really outgrow this stage? I find myself wanting to decorate a certain way, dress a certain way, own the latest gadget... Why? Who am I trying to impress?

It is a hard lesson to learn. It is hard at my age, much less 12. Jealousy is a hard emotion to deal with. I certainly haven't mastered it! How can I expect my young daughter to comprehend it? All we can do is live one day at a time. My prayer is that my daughter will be a reflection of Christ, not the phone she may one day carry. My prayer is that I set the example for her and not let the material things of this world decide who I am as an individual.

It may have started out about a cell phone, but it ended up being a reminder to this mom, that I needed to get on my hands and knees and start praying more. The teenage years are tough and it just gets harder on kids today, with every year that goes by.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What happens at the deer camp stays at the deer camp!

Ah... I finally got a morning to sleep in, that is if you call 9:00a.m. "sleeping in." I guess when you have kids, the words "sleeping in" don't exist, unless it is a school day. Last night my youngest child slept with me. His dad spent the night at the deer camp and he wasn't happy that he couldn't and when daddy isn't home, he turns into this "little Mama's boy, " wanting to sleep in my room. I guess I will enjoy those "Mommy moments" while I can, for he is certainly growing up...

In fact, it is ironic, because he was just bragging about how "big" he was and all he can do at the deer camp, and then he turns into this slobbery mess of emotions, "can I PLEASE sleep in your room Mom..." So of course I let him, which meant I didn't get to sleep as late as I wanted! Oh the sacrifices, we parents make! :)

Truth is I find myself doing all kinds of crazy things during this time of the year, just to make my husband and son happy. Last night for example; I found myself driving to the deer camp at 7:30p.m. to pick up my son. He and my husband came to a compromise and I was the "key" in making it happen. My son got to go on the junior hunt last weekend and killed his first deer, so his dad and grandpa really just wanted to hunt alone today. It seems fair, the first day of deer season, to not have to keep up with your 10 year old son and grandson and Kevin plans on taking him hunting later. Problem with this scenario, is that Jordan wasn't happy! He has been bit by the hunting bug and now I have TWO hunting fanatics living in my home! So when his dad told him he wasn't hunting this weekend... well that is where the slobbery mess came in. Finally a compromise was reached... his dad would take him after school, to hang out with the men at the camp until bedtime, IF I would come pick him up. Funny how it is easier for me to go pick him up than his dad bringing him home... two words HUNTING SEASON!

It is funny how those two words change a man's demeanor. His schedule changes, his attitude towards money and time changes and even his parenting style changes. I say this last phrase very carefully, for I don't want you to get the wrong impression. My husband is a fantastic dad. He spends time with his kids, takes them places and shuffles them to and from school everyday. Since I've gone back to work and his job hours are more flexible, he has done a lot of "mommy tasks" for me and I truly appreciate him for it. However, there are those moments when I want to shout; "Have you lost your mind!"

Imagine my face when I first heard that my son was riding the big four wheelers alone. Imagine my heart, when he told me that he and dad raced... oh, I know you are now getting the picture. Of course, when his grandpa got him a gun last year for Christmas, my face was not beaming like Kevin's was and I still have to distract myself to not worry about my baby holding a gun. But, I knew what I was getting into when I married my husband. I knew that if I ever had a little boy, that this day would come.

I have a friend whose husband doesn't hunt, who won't let her child ride anything without a helmet and who thinks our family is crazy for wanting to hunt and then eating it later. I can't say that I blame her too much. I'm not a "deer camp" girl. I don't hunt or fish, I don't enjoy riding the four wheelers and wished they would all wear helmets and I'm not a big eater of "wild game." What I do love is my husband and his family and if my son wants to grow up to be "just like Dad," well I can think of many worse things in the world. So, what I ended up telling my friend is; "What happens at the deer camp, stays at the deer camp." It is easier on my heart that way!

Of course, my son still hasn't learned what not to tell me yet... like the fact that he rode too fast on the four wheeler last night and... be still my heart. It is called trust in my husband and his family and lots of prayer. Yes, my friends, it is hunting season. It seems my prayer life increases during this time every year!:)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A little of this and a little of that...

No real big news or deep thoughts found here tonight, just killing time while I wait for the last load of clothes to finish washing, so I can put them in the dryer and go to bed. for some reason my family needs socks tomorrow, and unfortunately for me, there doesn't seem to be a clean pair to be found! So while I wait, you are stuck with these random thoughts...

Wow! the election is finally over. All that work, all the ads on TV, all the gossip about who will win and why, all of it really all over? Can we call for a reelection? :) I don't think everyone got the right memo on who to vote for!!! Actually, in truth, I'm glad it is over. I get so frustrated every time an election comes around. I'm not a confrontation; person, so I get tired of all the debating, the angry words and finger pointing commercials. It plum wears me out to think about it all. I'm not big on who won (mainly because I still don't know who he really is) but I am glad the race is finished.

Fireproof. A very sweet movie. My family went to see it the other night and I loved it. Is it going to win any awards? No. But like Facing the Giants, the story is real and you find yourself caught up in it, forge ting that the acting could be better. Kirk Cameron does a great job in it too.
The book "The Love Dare" is good too.

I just got finished putting the rubber bands around my two shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. It was fun buying the little toys and crayons, thinking of a little child opening the box and getting a few Christmas surprises. My only problem is that we have to do it so early, before the Christmas season starts. It would help my kids get more in the spirit of the gifts if it was closer to the holiday.

My daycare class finger painted today. I know you are probably thinking; "I thought she had the infant class?" I do. We made hand print turkeys. We made the body brown and then painted each baby finger, a different color, one at a time. I then drew legs, a beak and added a wiggly eye. They turned out so adorable. I wish I had one at home to post. they were cute, all the little baby hands...

Well, I hear nothing, which means my washer is finished. I am tired, so I'm going to close this little chat and go to bed. Hopefully next time, I'll have something important to say... or then again maybe not!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amazing Race... Amazing Life...

It is Sunday night. My family loves to watch the Amazing Race. I was the first one to get hooked. I guess it takes me back to my childhood a little as I watch people race around the world; catching planes, getting lost in a foreign countries and enduring the heat... It reminds me of friends I use to have in school, places I use to visit and dreams I once had. Tonight they were in India and I smiled when my son was in awe of the fact that I had been there.

Yes, I had seen first hand the cows in the street, felt the unbearable heat and knew what it felt like to be swarmed by crowds of people. Yes, I have seen elephants like that. Yes, I have ridden in one of those little "golf cart looking things." Yes, I've been lost in a foreign country... my son is always full of questions.

The truth is, I've had a very adventurous life. The sad part is, that I led it without realizing how awesome it was. I read my dad's blog tonight, where he talked about transitions, for he and my mom are about to make another one. He was telling how many times he moved and how many houses he had lived in and it got me thinking. This is what I discovered.

Before I got married...
I lived in 13 different houses.
I've lived in 4 different states.
I've lived in 3 different countries (including the USA).
I've visited 28 states (including Hawaii and I've been to Washington D.C.)
I've visited 12 different countries and 3 different continents.
You can add 4 more countries to the list if just being in the airport counts!
I went to 4 different elementary schools, took three different correspondence courses, went
to two International Schools, one American high school and a Baptist college. In 9th
grade I lived in a boarding house, in a totally different country than my parents for a
I've lived in an apartment, a guest house, a duplex, a motel, a dorm room, a bungalow and
with Grandma. :)
I've walked in muddy flood waters and on sandy beaches.
I've been on a bus, train, plane, car, taxi, rickshaw, tuk-tuk, bicycle, elephant... and who
knows what else!
I've seen the Eiffel Tower, the London Bridge, the Swiss Alps and the Taj Mahal.

My lists could go on and on. I have so many experiences, so many memories... My only regret is I didn't enjoy some of the adventures while I was on them. I remember wanting to be in America, just doing "American " things, but now I look at my daughter who DREAMS of going somewhere and wonder "What was I thinking?" What is that old saying about always wanting what you don't have and never appreciating what you got?

Truth is, my families' adventures were not always easy. We did have many transitions, too many, too close together at times. It is hard to change schools and friends every year! But there were many good experiences too. The ability to experience the world, having friends from other cultures, seeing new places and doing unusual things... I led a blessed life.

I guess the key to all of this is, that no matter where you are, be thankful, because when you look back you will appreciate the journey you took, because it made you who you are at that moment. Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me a childhood full of adventure. It is one thing my daughter is in awe of...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A stuffy nose, a new "home," a button buck, ten candles, a hayride and a gift from God...What a day!!!

My day started early, about 5:30a.m.. I couldn't breath! After dragging myself out of bed to blow my nose for the 100th time, I realized my "menfolk" were still sleeping. I was soon told that they weren't getting up until 6:00a.m.! I went back to bed...slept until about 7:30, when I decided that unless I took my medicine, I wasn't going to feel any relief by just blowing my nose! This time I stayed up. In case you haven't figured out, I'm kind of sick. My husband says I'm sick in the head, and the truth is he is not far off base. I have a severe sinus infection. I've been to the doctor and right now I have plenty of pills to take. My pill box would rival my Nanny's old pill box, right now! So say a little prayer for me, hopefully I'm on the mend.

As for the guys, well they had gone hunting. It was the big junior hunt today. My son has been talking about it all week. This is the day that dads can take their young sons hunting and the "kids" can shoot what they see. Jordan had new camo overalls and a new shirt and of course his new gun he got last Christmas... he thought he was ready. I guess maybe he was, for he actually killed something. He had to call me and tell me all about it. He thought it was a doe, and that he had missed it, but he didn't. It turned out to be a small button buck. I know he wanted it to be a "big one" real bad, but considering it was his first deer to shoot all by himself, he did pretty good.

I also had a phone call this morning. My parents are retiring this year and are moving "back home." they had found them a new house. They were excited and I was excited for them. So, I guess in a way I have a new home, back home. Having moved my whole life, when people ask where my hometown is, I've always said the name of the place where my grandparents lived. Now my parents are moving back there, so now I'll actually have a "home" in my "hometown." :) I'm happy for you Mom and Dad!

At 1:00 today, we had a party. This time there was 10 candles on the cake. I made another cookie cake and had a few party favors, but other than that it was the easiest party ever. It was at the bowling alley. We had six boys there and Kayla. They bowled, played pool and ate cookie cake. We also lost a few quarters to the games, but overall they had a great time. I think Jordan was happy with his party!

Oh, the day was not over. I would have loved to fit in a nap, but it was not to be. We had a Sunday School party scheduled and I had to go to the store for dip making items and then had to toss me together something to take to the bonfire/hayride S.S. party. Fun! It turned out to be a good time. I doped myself up before I got there, stayed clear of the fire and the hay, talked and watched my kids run around with their friends. It is a blessing to be able to get together with good Christian people and just fellowship.

Did I also tell you I balanced my checkbook today? YUCK! I was getting frustrated too! I had forgotten I hadn't paid a bill, so I had a little less money to "play with" than I thought. It is so frustrating when you have to juggle things. Especially when your kids are as old as mine and have to have money for different things. (I know it is only going to get worse, the older they get!) Anyway, I just let my frustration out before God this morning in the shower (we do a lot of talking in there. It is about the only time I'm left alone if I'm lucky!) and you will not believe what happened not an hour later... I was given money to help pay for Jordan's party, by my mother-in-law. She just "wanted to," she said. It was the exact amount I needed for the bill! God is amazing!

So... today has been busy. I guess it is a good thing that I get an extra hour to sleep tonight! I think I need it. Goodnight!

Oh, I will share pictures of some of the events of the day later... too tired right now.