Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mom stuff...

What am I doing this weekend, you ask? Well, actually I'm pretending you want to really know, therefore I will give you an answer. :) Here is my "TO DO" list:

1. Wash the dishes...some I have to do a rewash on. One of the jobs I give my kids to do each day when they come home from school is they need to load the dishwasher. Every once in a while they will not all fit and a few have to be washed by hand. One day this past week, my daughter was in charge of dish duty. However, she was not in the mood. If you know my daughter, then you know if she is not in the mood to do it, it ends up being a job half done. She had to wash out the crystal light jug by hand and then make some more. I poured me a drink that night, took a sip and realized my mouth was on fire! Mothers didn't use to wash kids mouths out with soap for no burns! My daughter hadn't rinsed all the dish washing soap out of the jug before making more of the drink mix. Ugh! I can still taste it!

2. Fold clothes...but I will not complain. My "laundry hero" is still at it, he just doesn't like to fold. Well that makes two of us, however since I don't have to do most of the washing these days, I guess I had better start folding, huh?

3. Pay bills. Yuck! Anyone want to trade places with me? Or give me a loan?

4. Go to the store. Now I like shopping, but these days I can't find anything I want at my Walmart, for they decide to rearrange every five minutes. I also don't consider groceries true shopping. I kin of get depressed every time I go. I end up spending to much, even with my coupons. Besides the fact that my kids eat me out of house and home and a buggy full of food will be gone in two to three days! Where do they put it all?!

5. Take down my Christmas trees. Yep! They are all still up. Sad, huh? I have not had a free weekend to do it all. I either have been sick or doing something. I'm hoping I can get it done today. Kev says I could just leave them up year round. Nah...that takes away the specialness (if that is a word) of decorating for Christmas every year. Too bad Santa doesn't send elves to help us out after Christmas!

Well, I probably have loads more than that to do, but I will be doing great if I get all of this done today. I was chatting with one of our seventh grade youth girls this morning on Facebook. She asked what I was doing today... I had to answer honestly, "Mom stuff." Need I say more?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Say what?

Have you ever been totally frustrated, yet can't do anything about the situation, that is totally out of your control? I'm there today. I don't even know what to say except to ask for prayer. It is related to my job and I can't go into details, for it is not my goal to hurt anyone's feelings. I just have to say this; "Why do people make things so complicated sometimes?!"

Yes, life would be so much easier if we didn't have to deal with people wouldn't it? Yet, who wants to be stuck talking to a ball, like Tom Hanks, because you're all alone and need a listening ear? But wait, in a way that's what I'm doing right now isn't it...bending the ear of a material object? How do I know you are reading this post? Here I am typing my feelings into a computer and... well, I'm so BLAH! right now I've gone off on a tangent. Forgive me! I'm afraid I just needed a listening ear so I could vent a moment.

All better.

On a totally different note... pray for my family. My parents and extended family are iced in with no electricity. My dad just might be looking for a ball to talk to pretty soon, himself! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"90 in '09..."

That is a quote, my husband is borrowing from the lead singer of the Christian group, Big Daddy Weave, Mike Weaver. He is on the heavy side and is determined to lose ninety pounds in 2009. Well, my hubby has decided to try and do the same, if not more. I'm very proud of him right now because he is sticking to it. He is doing the Atkins diet, mainly because he doesn't want to "have to think about anything!" Slowly, but steadily the pounds are coming off.

Please pray for him, that he will have the drive and determination to continue on...for health reasons he really does need to lose the weight.

On a side note, our whole family is trying to do better in the eating department. I'm excited because I have lost 12 pounds, myself! Yeah!

After the last two days I've had...that is certainly something to smile about! Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Patience...what is it again?

I think I discovered what the Lord is trying to teach me this week. I was taking a shower last night, contemplating how my week has gone (Good gracious, it was ONLY Monday!) and asking a lot of "why?"'s in there, while trying to counter it with a few "why not?"'s. (I do my best thinking and praying in the shower...must be that it is the only place I can get away from everything else! Or should I say EVERYONE else?)

Anyway, my conclusion was: PATIENCE. Sweet and simple, God is trying to teach me how to have some more patience. Don't know why? But how else can I explain my life and my attitude??

I mean when your husband runs out of his Blood pressure meds over the weekend and you are the one that ends up feeling guilty about it when he didn't remind you, yada yada, yada... You have to have patience with him. (I couldn't get mad...I couldn't risk a heart attack!!!)

Of course when the same man tells you that a church member told him that a "few" people are frustrated with him because "he is not doing enough..." I had to have patience. (Not doing enough?!!! I barely see him as it is! He works hard! Not doing enough? Yes, I needed patience last night! I was close to strangling someone! No one is allowed to talk to or about my man like that...I am the only one that has that privilege! I earned it!!!)

Patience is when you look at the money coming in, and the money going out and the stack of bills still to pay and wonder when I'm going to be that blessed person that wins the lottery or gets Oprah to pay everything off?

Patience is when you show up to work, at a child care center and have 10 babies before 8:00a.m., only to realize your partner has jury duty, the director has to help you and has no back up plans when she realizes she has to stay the whole day with you, since your co worker got chosen!!! If that sentence made sense then you are praying for me, if it didn't well just know I'm having to have MUCH patience!

When a friend has tests run and the doctor says they will not know the results for two weeks, but it doesn't look good...well one must have patience. Say a pray for her, please.

When you leave a list of chores for your kids to accomplish before you come home and they chose the worst day to not do them...well a mom has to have patience.

When you come home and cook dinner, only for your husband to have to work takes patience.

To have the courage to continue on your journey, when Monday and Tuesday haven't turned out so hot, well I am just asking for a little strength...this God's timing takes patience, doesn't it?

Yes, that is only a sampling of my week so far. I know things could be a lot worse. I also know that God will supply everything I need to handle each situation as it comes my way. The truth is, I know He allows these days, so that we will learn to count our blessings, remember who is really in charge and to teach us a lesson or two along the way.

This week, mine is PATIENCE. Anyone in the class with me? I'll be praying for you...

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I am going to start this post with a little bragging... my husband can sing! Sure he has a nice voice and all, I mean people ask him to sing at weddings, funerals, special programs, etc... all the time. Actually what I am talking about is "SINGING!" You know the kind when you feel the emotion behind the song, singing? Well, he blew me away this morning. I was torn between not paying attention to the message of the song because i was so proud and forgetting to listen close for how he did, because I was listening to the "heart" behind the song. Did that sentence even make sense to anybody but me?

Our pastor has been doing a series of messages on Heaven. Right now Kevin is filling in as our worship leader at church, until we can find someone. He decided to sing one of his favorite songs, sung by one of his favorite singers, David Phelps. The song is called "No More Night." It is a pretty powerful song in can make you weep just reading the words.

I've heard Kevin sing it many times. Every time it touches my is beautiful. Today, though, I had my wife radar on. Kevin practiced at home perfect and told me later that he had practiced this morning perfect. However, after a few bars during the service, I could tell something was up. Don't get me wrong, he still sang it beautifully. I could just tell he was working hard at not crying, to the point that he choked up a couple of times.

The minor flub was no big deal, for you could tell it had to do with him keeping his emotions in check. However, wait until I tell you what was the cause of his emotion. He told me after church today, that while he was singing about Heaven, and no more pain, he looked out and there was this young man that goes to our church, singing with him prayerfully. The thing that got him, is that this certain young man is in a wheelchair and can not walk. Here, was an individual, who will never walk and live what we would consider a "normal" life, singing about Heaven. Kevin said, as he was singing on stage watching him, it shook him up... Heaven for this young man represented, something even more special than I can personally imagine.

It got me to thinking...Heaven. What does it represent for me? What do I picture or long for when I think of Heaven? When I was young I liked to think of it as this super duper golden playground, probably because I had a brother who passed away as a baby. When I was in high school, I didn't want to think about it much at all... teenagers tend to believe that nothing "bad" will happen to them until it does and then they just want to be angry! As a young adult, I came to believe it was a place for the very sick to go... to find peace. My Nanny, a few years ago called it "home, and that she was ready to see Jesus!" I like that definition. HOME.

As Kevin was singing and my pastor was preaching, I realized that Heaven is something beautiful. Something we should be longing for, not dreading. There should be no fear, but a true longing for, like our young friend in the wheelchair. All the little problems that surface in day to day life seem insignificant when you think about Heaven. What are we striving for everyday, anyway?

I don't have any deep thoughts today or words of wisdom that will change your life and how you think. All I have today is the testimony of a young man that has suffered a lot in this world, yet finds the time to praise God daily. He lives for HEAVEN!

I am now challenged to, too...

Lord, I truly want to live to glorify you and look forward to that beautiful place you have prepared for me...

Oh, and Lord, I really do hope there is no jealousy in Heaven, among your angels, because MY HUSBAND REALLY CAN SING! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I need a pat on the back, thank you very much!

Several months ago I revealed how horribly unorganized my office/scrapbook room/library/ work out room was. In fact it was just a flat out mess! It has now officially taken me a year and three months to whip the room in shape. But, I am now proud to say; "I deserve a pat on the back!!!" With the exception of some boxes I still need to go through, I think the room looks pretty good. (The boxes are stacked nicely out of the way.)

Here is what the room looked like before...

Now if I may have a drum roll please...

Yeah! You can actually see the floor! :) This is my work out area. I am going to try hard to really use it for that... I can always get a real coat rack to hang things on!

This is the library part of my room. With the exception of a handful of study books, Bibles and wood shop books, these are all mine. I love to read! I like buying my favorites, so that I can read them over and over... The bottom shelf also holds my scrapbooks for right now.

This is my scrapbook area. Kevin made me the desk a few years ago and I love it!

This little cart is also part of my scrapbook/craft area. It holds my sewing machine and my cameras. It belonged to my Nanny. She use to have it in her kitchen, but I love finding other uses for objects... it gives a room more character, I think.

This corner of my room holds my office. The desk was mine when I was a young girl. My dad had it built for me, when my family lived in Bangladesh, so I would have a place to "home school" everyday. The painting was painted by my Grandpa Jack and is very dear to my heart. Of course, I spend a lot of my free time in this little corner, with my friend the computer. Tell me again, how did we ever survive without them?!

Well, there you have it. It isn't perfect, for I still have some organizing to do. I could do without the paneled walls, but who has time to paint these days? And the lighting is not great, as you can tell from the photos, but I'm happy to have the space. I'm ecstatic that it is clean and I can now enjoy it; reading, scraping, blogging, working out (well, one can hope!), etc... might just be a little more enjoyable.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My idea of beauty...

I had a dream last night and in that dream I had a fairy godmother. My fairy godmother was going to grant me one wish...the chance to be my idea of a "beautiful woman." After much deliberation, I wrote out a list of qualities that make up what I think beautiful is...

1. a loving spirit

2. a joyful heart

3. a peaceful nature

4. great patience!!!

5. unending kindness

6. total goodness

7. great faith...

8. a sweet gentleness

9. lots of self control

10. and beautiful red hair!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

You are the example of the "fruit of the spirit" for me. I strive daily to follow in your footsteps. You have taught by example how to be a supportive and devoted wife, a loving and forgiving mother, a tender and fun "Grammy" and a beautiful child of God. I thank God for you everyday and love you very much!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The dentist...friend or foe?

As you know for two weeks now, (I know you guys are tired about reading about my tooth!!!) I have had some tooth pain. I've tried to stay upbeat, I really have... I guess I have failed, for the other day my daughter told her daddy that I wasn't "fun anymore" and that I hardly "smiled." Oops! Sorry about that people! I apologize to all of you who have had to deal with me in the real world, maybe I have been a tad on the cranky side.

Anyway, I am praying that I am now on the road to recovery! Yesterday, I went and had the first part of my root canal done (they do it in two parts, don't know why!). The whole way there I am dreading it of course. Remember I am the one who hates needles, people in my space and of course PAIN! The only thing that is getting me there is that I have had a dull pain for over two weeks that I would really like to be finished with! That and the fact that my husband was driving...I probably would have turned around half way!

So after lunch yesterday, I went on a road trip to the big city of EL DORADO. Fun! I'm not sure if I've ever been there before. Seems like a nice enough town. The reason why I had to travel is something about my dentist not doing reconstruct root canals, and yada, yada, yada... I've been on drugs the past few weeks, I'm lucky I remember my name!

I sat in the chair and in walks this pretty nice man. I say he is nice because he looked me in the eye, talked to me like we were having a conversation (I do not like it when medical people talk AT me, with all their fancy words!) and smiled. I like that. He seemed human. Since I didn't have much choice whether I liked him or not, I was very glad that He gave a good first impression. The other thing I liked about him was all his fancy equipment. My old dentist from two years ago must have been old school, because he didn't have all the fancy stuff and he also HURT! Truth is, right now this dentist is my new best friend. Between his nice personality and fancy gadgets, the second time around was a breeze! The worse part is that I have a small mouth and it is hard for me to hold it that wide for so long, even with the help of the little brace thingy (have no idea what it is called!) That, believe it or not was the most painful part...

I did pretty good last night. It didn't seem any more painful than what I have had to deal with for the last few weeks. I was numb though and sore and very tired. So, my husband got me a BIG vanilla milkshake from McDonald's, I put my pj's on, took some Tylenol and watched TV in bed all night. With the exception of a sore mouth, I could really get use to all that! :)

So for my family and friends, who have had to put up with my sour attitude and those who have been saying a little prayer for me...thanks! Hopefully, I am now on the mend! I still have to go back for him to finish the root canal and a crown put on and I have a wisdom tooth that has to come out and a few cavities, and...but I think I will live. My left side of my mouth may never be the same again!

I know, I know! I'm going to have to stay off those peppermints! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A new little friend...

I have been following a friend's blog. She lives close by, goes to church with me and is an old classmate from college. She just recently moved to town too, so we have that common bond as well. Not to mention that our sons are friends. Anyway, a few years ago, she and her husband decided they wanted to adopt. They have been on the waiting list for a baby from China for a while now. However, their baby dream has at last come true...

Last week they came home from China with a new little baby girl. I am so happy for them. It has been wonderful, being able to read her blog and share this wonderful experience with their family. "Berkeley" is beautiful! And as I read about their visit in China and saw their first pictures with Berkeley, I just couldn't wait to meet her! Her pictures reminded me of a little doll.

Well, Kathy had asked in her blog, if family and friends would wait a week before visiting. The adoption agency recommends an adjustment period for the family before baby is bombarded with company. Although a little disappointed that I might not get to meet her for a little while, I respectively understood.

In the meantime, today was a holiday as you all know. Well, my job wasn't closed for day. It was soooo hard getting up this morning when my husband and kids were still all warm and snugly in their beds. So hard. I was even 10 minutes late... Got there. No babies. Finally had one baby show up at ten. ONE. Just one little girl out of the two baby classes. Which meant there was three of us twiddling our thumbs. I finally asked if anyone wanted to leave. The other two said they really needed the money. Well, I honestly could always use the money, however, five hours with my kids today sounded pretty good. So I got the rest of the day off. Fun!

Kevin, the kids and I ate lunch out and did a little shopping. It was a nice little afternoon. The kids had fun spending birthday and Christmas money and I just enjoyed my time with them. Later, I went to Walmart to do some birthday shopping for my mother in law and you will never guess who I hear calling my name?! It's Kathy, her son and her new baby girl. Right there in the middle of Walmart! And you know what? I was the first one to officially meet her! Yes! ME!! Kathy even took a picture...

Oh, she is so cute and I am so happy for them! She is full of energy and smiles! Kathy was going to let me hold her, but we didn't push it. Berkeley decided however that she would tease me. She would lean forward as if she was going to let me hold her, only to pull back and smile!

We serve an awesome God! I looked at this little one today and realized how cherished she is going to be. She may have had an uncertain start, but God had this little one in His awesome hands the whole time. And my friends may have had to wait, but God taught them so much along the way, preparing them for their new little treasure. I can't wait to see what God has planned for this special little girl we now call Berkeley.

(If you would like to read their adoption journey here is the website:
I know you will be blessed!)

On another note, a few prayer requests have come my way via the blog world...

1. Baby Harper - brand new and struggling for life. To read more about her story you can go here:

2. Hannah - a strong young woman, who has brain tumors and has been given little hope. However, her family believes in an awesome God who can do miracles. To read more about her story you can read about her on my friend Lisa's blog, who is also her aunt.

3. Berkeley - may she grow up in the knowledge that she is very loved by her Heavenly Father. Pray for her and her family as they continue to adjust to life together.

This morning, as I sit here typing, finishing my post started yesterday, I am left in awe of these beautiful families and their strength and courage. Each one has a story to tell, serving as an example for the rest of us what true FAITH really is. This morning I ask that you say a prayer for these special people as they continue their journey. We serve a powerful God who loves us all very much. We may not always know His plans for our lives, but we can rest in the fact that He will be on the journey with us.

And while you are at might want to give your kids an extra hug today too!

Friday, January 16, 2009

What? No more peppermints!?!

OK. As I've been complaining lately about my tooth pain, I guess for friends and family I really should take the time to let you know what is going on with my mouth. For hurts!!! I've been in pain off and on for about a week and a half now! I thought for a few days I could "grin and bear" it until the pain faded away and I could find TIME to go to the dentist like normal people (yeah, right!) but unfortunately my mouth decided it had a different plan.

Sunday night it started to hurt BAD!!! You know the kind of pain that takes over your whole body, you can not focus on anything else and wished you could find the pliers so you could go ahead pull the stupid thing...PAIN?! Lucky for me I have a friend at church that is a dentist and worked me in after work the next day. All day Monday I was miserable. No smiles were coming from this mouth. Whether it was from pain or dread of going to the dentist, I will never really know...

I went. She looked at my mouth. She hummed and said a lot of "Ohs" and I sat there quietly waiting for the "bottom line" of where the pain was coming from. What I got was a simple, "I want x rays of your whole mouth and will see you tomorrow at the same time." Ugh! Another night of restless sleep, fear of overdosing on Tylenol and dread of what could be taking place in my mouth. Did I mention I don't like people messing with my mouth? I will say this again UGH!!!

I go back. Not as bad as it could have been or what they first thought. Not fun either! Evidently, I need to have a reconstruct on a root canal I had two years ago. Hello! Have you ever had a root canal? I have, and it certainly wasn't fun the first time around. Not only that, but she makes an appointment with a dentist friend of hers that will be doing it for me! UGH! Now I'm going to have someone I don't even know messing with my mouth! I go this Tuesday. Say a prayer for me and one for the dentist...I'm not always the best patient. Don't worry, Dad, I won't make anyone chase me around the room...

Anyway, after telling me about the root canal and the appointment with the other dentist, she proceeds to tell me what else is wrong with my mouth. Oh no! Here it comes. My mom will tell you she has problems with her teeth. I am afraid I've inherited her smile inside and out. I'm preparing myself for the mounting problems... "Actually, the right side of your mouth looks really good, I'm just going to check an old filling." What? Can you believe that, it wasn't as bad as I thought it could be, I..."But,"

Wait! Did she say "But?" I spoke too soon.

"Your left side has some problems." More than the root canal pain? I'm afraid on top of the root canal gone bad, I have a couple of cavities, a wisdom tooth coming in and a few concerns, because I'm already missing a tooth on my left side (when they pulled my baby tooth, God hadn't given me a big tooth to replace it with!).

As I'm taking all of this in I realize the dentist is wondering about a cavity I have. It is at the gum line. I had to admit that I kind of like to suck on peppermints in my jaw. It's a nervous habit. I was quickly informed that it was a habit I would have to break!

What??? Listen, I'm now looking at the dentist like she had taken away my best friend! I don't smoke. I don't drink alcohol. I don't drink dark sodas. I don't drink tea or coffee. I hardly even chew gum anymore and she wants to take away my one vice? Peppermints?!

I don't know what is worse. The root canal or facing a life of never being able to eat another peppermint without guilt?

I will have to finish this little story after next Tuesday, after the big root canal redo. In the mean time I will try my hardest not to drive my family nuts with crankiness, become addicted to my new best friend Vicodin and stay away from the hard candies I love. Say a prayer!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random news...

Well, every once in a while I find I have nothing really to say... that is probably a good thing since it means nothing TERRIBLE, CRAZY or UTTERLY RIDICULOUS has happened. However, I do have news to share with those who care...

1. We are striving to lose weight, my husband and I. As a family we are eating better and trying real hard to eat out less. We have been on our new health kick for a week now. Kev has lost 12 pounds and I've lost 4. Not bad, huh? Say a prayer for us... We are going to try and add physical activity in there too, sometime soon.

2. Kayla made first chair in flute. We are so very proud of her! She was first this week out of eight. She of course has to fight for that honor every couple of weeks, but at least this honor has pumped her up enough that she now believes the position is obtainable if she works hard.

3. Jordan and Kayla both made straight A's. Yeah! This mom is smiling! Kayla said she may still be dropped to AB Honor roll because of AR points, but I'm ecstatic!!!

4. I've about got my office done. IT has been a thorn in my flesh for over a year now. I've actually blogged about it before... Anyway, I will be posting a new and improved picture real soon! Promise!

5. I went to the dentist and I have to go back today after work. They are working me in around my work schedule. I'm going to live! I actually slept really good last night, first good rest in about five days, with a little help from some pain medication. I will find out today what is going to happen with my mouth... Good news out of it all? The dentist told me I have a "small" mouth. It is now official! Kevin is truly the "BIG MOUTH" of our family! Hee! Hee!
I'll blog about the whole tooth news when I find out more.

Well, like I said, RANDOM NEWS. Just trying to keep you posted!

Monday, January 12, 2009

DRAMA! Can't we save it for acting class???

One of the hardest things about going back to work has been the drama. I work with all women. I really like them all. Each one has her own unique personality that adds something different to the table. We laugh a lot. We have cried together. Some of us brag about our husbands and kids, others are working through difficult situations, while all of us are trying to encourage each other a long the way. It could be a worse environment to work in. In fact I really enjoy my job, except for...


I am left feeling everyday that I can't say anything negative or give constructive criticism without it coming back to haunt me. You know that feeling you have when you leave the room that everyone is talking behind your back? That feeling that everyone else can say exactly what they want and how they feel, but if I say something they start getting defensive. What ever happen to speaking the truth in love?

This is going to sound like I'm tooting my own horn when I say this, but I'm really not trying too. If you know me and my personality, then you will not see what I'm saying as bragging. If you don't know me personally, then just know that I'm really just trying to share my perception of my personality.

I'm a people pleaser! I come from a long line of people pleasers. (Can I get an "AMEN" from my Dad, Mom and Sis?) Simply what that means is we do not like confrontation. We will absolutely avoid it at all costs. We can't stand to be the "bad" guy or have anyone mad at us. It is often hard for us to speak our mind, because we don't want to hurt feelings or make someone mad. I've been known to go as far as blaming myself for someone else's problems just in order to reason things out and find peace.

So, what I'm trying to say, is that at work, I'm not a big complainer. I try really hard not to be a big gossip or take sides. I try really hard to stay out of the middle of things and just do my job to the best of my abilities. I've gotten pretty good at holding my tongue, being nice to people that rub me the wrong way or even planting a smile on my face when I hate different situations, through the years, after all my husband is a minister. Add a few years under my belt in adulthood (yes I'm getting older) and you have a little more maturity than some too.

The problem is this...when I do decide to say something, well it becomes DRAMA. You heard me right! Sometimes I start the drama without meaning too. For example today I opened my mouth to say something I simply don't think we need to say anymore and the "backs go up." Why? Why can't it be simple? Why does one sentence out of my mouth have to cause friction. Just because someone doesn't like something, does it make them a bad person?

I think not. I chose not to rattle off details to you, for too many people who read this might figure out too many details. I really don't need more drama! No, I just needed a small soapbox for five minutes to vent!

At the end of the day, I have to wonder how some people would survive without a little drama in their day to day lives... Me, if I want drama I'll watch Days of Our Lives, thank you very much! OR I could just go down the hall to my kid's rooms...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Tooth of the Matter...

I hurt right now. I've had a tooth that as ached off and on for the last month, but wasn't bad enough that I couldn't stand it. After all, with the holiday fuss, who has time to go to the dentist, right? Well, I'm sitting here right now, trying to distract myself by blogging a little, defiantly regretting my decision not to call the dentist sooner.

I am suppose to go have an x ray tomorrow at 4:00p.m. to see what is up with my mouth, but there are moments when I wonder if I will survive. How can one little 'ol tooth make your whole body ache? OR at least seem like it does.

I've tried Tylenol, for that is all the over the counter pain medication I can take. I happen to be allergic to aspirin and medication related to the hive inducing drug. I've tried gum numbing medicine, I now know why babies wear that funny expression after we moms rub the pink gel all over their gums. I think my tongue is numb, but my tooth is still there and throbbing, thank you very much! I tried warm salt water...yum! Actually, it does help for a little while. Well, as long as I keep it floating in my mouth, but it takes too much effort not to swallow it.

I "googled" my problem, however chewing on clove leaves or garlic doesn't sound too great, especially not when I still have to go to church tonight.

So, I sit here trying to endure, wondering if tomorrow afternoon will ever come. I've contemplated going and finding some pliers and pulling the awful little thing myself, but I can't even pull my own kid's baby teeth, when they are loose! It is one of those things that defiantly gives me the "heeber geebers."

If you have any remedies for me to try, send them my way... In the meantime say a prayer for me and my mouth. Right now I'm about to the point where I think it might be easier to just be in labor than put up with this! It is that bad!!!


Thanks for the prayers. My father in law is already doing better. I talked to my mother in law this morning and she said he was up, trying to get ready for church. She informed him that he was going to stay home and rest after having a high fever during the night. As I said before, there is not much that keeps him down! In fact, I realized how sick he was when he didn't go out to the camp and eat squirrel with his brothers and Kevin and the kids, yesterday! Yes, he must have felt bad, to miss that!

His fever has broken and he is eating again, so I think he is on the mend. We are still not sure if he had a reaction to his medication or had a stomach virus, but I'm glad he is feeling back to his 'ol self.

Thanks again for the prayers... I know my in laws are not getting any younger and we are at the stage in life when illnesses can get scary. Please continue to keep him in your prayers, for he does receive treatment for his cancer, monthly.

It is times like this, that I am truly thankful I believe in a mighty and loving God! Can you imagine having no hope at all? I can't. Life is hard enough without the strength of the Savior!

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Prayer Request...

I sit here typing, while saying a prayer. Yesterday, my father in law went for his monthly hormone shot. He has cancer, but has been responding well to hormone treatments. He has, for the most part seemed healthy and happy. In fact, unless you had been told, you probably wouldn't know a thing has been wrong with him.

yesterday, however, they gave him a different medication, something through an IV. We aren't really sure what it is, Kevin's mom wasn't in the room with him when he saw the doctor. The medicine, we were told, however, is one of those that comes with a list of side affects. Headache, nausea, diarrhea, fever, etc...

Well, guess what? He has a little bit of all that today! He is miserable! I know people get sick all the time, what's the deal, right? The deal is that my father in law is one of those lucky individuals who never seems to get even a headache , who doesn't complain about nothing and has to be feeling pretty bad to not keep going. So, when he does get sick, well none of us know how to handle it. Even, while having this cancer, he has done well.

However, he has been down for the count today. Kevin is over at their house right now trying to see if he can help his mom. It is days like this that I am thankful that the Lord brought us back to Kevin's hometown. In fact Kevin and I have been talking about him going with his dad and mom on their doctor visits, just so we will know how to help them more.

As for today, I'm saying a prayer for my father in law, who I adore. I know he is in the Father's tender care right now. If you think about it, dear family and friends, could you maybe remember him in your prayers too?

***As I was typing this, Kev called. His fever has come down a little... He is going to stay a little longer...***

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"I'm Just Going to Have To Do It Now!!!"

I've been in "blog land" lately, probably spending too much time here, but it's a little on the addictive side. I'm going to have to be careful, for even when I'm not posting, I'm being a an Internet junkie. I go searching for life out there, hoping it will make me feel better about my own, while reading the happenings of others. In other words, I want to feel NORMAL. I want to know I'm not the only one that has a husband that they adore but also drives them crazy. I want to be able to find out that I'm not the only mom that can "lose it" every once in a while or that there are other people in this world that can't seem to keep a perfect house... Surely I'm not the only one that feels that way?!

I do have a little guilt at times, or actually, make that A LOT of guilt at times, when I spend too much time doing anything but what I need to be doing. These days, it is so easy to watch television, blog or even read than to lift a finger doing what needs to be done. My prayer/Bible study time will often suffer too, 'cause I don't like the guilt that will pour my way. I'm like that silly child that knows they are not doing right, knows the Heavenly Father knows too, yet still decides to pretend I'm hiding out, and no one is the wiser! Ever been there?

Well, guess what? God found me today! Yes, He decided if I was not going to come to Him,today, He was going to find me and get my attention!

I was reading a post from a new wonderful blog I found. The blog is titled the "Holy Experience." This woman has decided to use her blog as a true ministry and God certainly used it today to nail me to the wall and slap me silly! (Well, not really, I just felt like it!)

The piece was called Communion and she had written a quote from an old Scottish preacher. This is what it said:

No unwelcome tasks become any less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is sweetness to be tasted afterwards.

Accomplished, (tasks) are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us.

Undone, (tasks) stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility and hindering our communion with God.

If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once.

The only way to get rid of it is to do it!" - Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910)

To this "queen of procrastination" this was a proclamation from God. In other words, stop whining about your messy house and your piles of this and that, Michele and just "get it done, already!"

Here I sit again, blogging. There are dirty dishes in the sink, clean laundry to fold (thanks to the laundry man who is still on a roll!), Christmas decor to put away and an office to finish organizing. Thanks a lot, Lord! I'm just going to have to go and do it now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Somedays you can't win for trying....

Before Christmas break, my son brought home a note from the teacher. It stated that he needed a "composition" notebook when he returned to school after the holidays. Alright, I could handle that. Like a good mother I tacked the note on my bulletin board and of course promptly "forgot" about it until this past Monday night (the last night of Christmas break!).

No problem. I had to get groceries that night, I will just pick one up while I'm at Walmart. Little did I know that it would indeed end up being a problem. They were out of them! I walked up and down the stationary isle 5 times in search of the black, cardboard book otherwise known as a composition notebook! I even ask one of the blue shirted employees to help me find one! No, not one could be found! I finally found the price label on the end of the shelf that said they were suppose to be right there, but the shelf was empty. Can you believe that? Usually they have hundreds of those things!

It was rainy , cold and dark, so I really wasn't interested in driving around the town Monday night in search of the much needed book. No, I ended up writing the dreaded note. You know the one that says, "SORRY!" I couldn't find what you asked me to get, but I promise to look again tomorrow, hope that will be alright...note. I just know every teacher hates them. I can hear Jordan's teacher mumbling something about me having two weeks to get him a book and that I should be more on top of things, yada, yada, yada... (Actually, his teacher is very sweet and probably didn't say anything of the sort, rather it was my guilty conscience talking again.)

Anyway, true to my word, Jordan and I went in search of a composition notebook, the next night. We went to Fred's. Once again we came up empty. I again asked a store clerk. She was actually puzzled, for just the day before, she had moved a big box of them on the shelf and now they were all gone. I told her the whole fourth grade needed composition notebooks! The only book at Fred's that even said the word composition on it was metallic with stars. Much to Jordan's dismay I bought it. "We are still going to look, aren't we Mom? Please!" I'm afraid he thought the book was a little too feminine for his tastes. I still bought it "just in case."

Our next stop was Walgreen's. Low and behold they had TWO left. Of course, they would cost me twice as much as the ones at Walmart and Fred's! Wouldn't you know it? I took the book anyway! Mission completed. Mom's work is done, right?

I came home for my lunch break, today, and guess what was laying on the kitchen counter? You guessed it! A brand new, cost too much, black composition notebook! Jordan forgot to take it to school! I am now informed that the teacher had an extra one and that I now "owe" her a dollar! What???

Some days, I truly feel like I can't win for trying!

Anybody need a composition notebook? I have two of them. One black and one with gold stars. The things we do for our children!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Song in my Heart!

OK, this morning I wrote about giving Monday a chance, while trying to find the good in my day no matter what, and decided to share a favorite song to uplift us all...

Well, here I am with an update as to how Monday treated me after I so graciously tried to give the day a break. First of all, I have to say, as a Christian I learned real young, that when you want to do the right thing, say the right thing, be the kind of person the Heavenly Father would love for you to be, well that is when Satan tends to like to leave his calling card. So, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, since I wanted to have a "positive" day, that there were going to be some "negatives" waiting to stomp on my good mood. However, going in warned is half the battle , right?

Truth. There were a few negatives... an individual at work quit, a baby threw up on me (And I'm not talking spit up!), Walmart was out of the composition books, my son needs for school tomorrow (What? They always have thousands of those things laying around!) it is cold, wet, and I had to go to the grocery store in it (We were out of everything!), someone cut in front of me in the parking lot, totally not knowing how to drive right (It must have been a man!!!) and Kevin is going on a diet (Pray for him!) and I'm trying to cut back too, so even though I know I'm not, I FEEL like I'm starving!

There were other normal little things like bills to pay, kids fighting, etc... that have also entered my day. But you know what? I survived!!! I had a little bounce in my step as I left the house this morning, I was totally ready to face the day after a little praying and listening to my new favorite song. I just knew being "prepared" in my heart for the day ahead was going to see me through.

Did my plan work? Was my attitude POSITIVE? I think so. And I will tell you why...I went with a song in my heart! When I got to work I found a new praise CD too which helped a lot, I found myself singing all day! I have felt closer to God today, than I have in a long time. Especially while going through the piddle paddle us moms have to do and deal with everyday. I realized I was HAPPY.

Now don't get me wrong, nothing can be substituted for prayer and Bible study, but for us moms that are on the go, there is a quick fix for lifting the spirits during the never ending duties of motherhood and housewife. It is called MUSIC. Ask my family...I listen to music while I clean, wash the dishes and cook dinner (don't tell, but my family has been known to do some "kitchen dancing" too!) There is nothing better at changing my mood, than the sweet sound of praise.

So, this got me to thinking about music and my favorite uplifting songs. I decided to give you my top ten favorites. If you love music like my family does, then you probably know them all, but who knows you might find a new one on my list too.

1. The Revelation Song - Kari Jobe
- Kari Jobe is with Gateway Worship. They are this totally AWESOME group of musicians. I have yet to find a song of theirs that doesn't inspire me to worship!

2. How Great is our God - Chris Tomlin
- Is there a bad song by Chris Tomlin? I don't think so. God has certainly blessed him with a special gift of writing praise.

3.Mighty to Save - Laura Story
- This song comes from a favorite verse of mine found in Zephaniah 3:17.

4. Worthy is the Lamb - Darlene Zschech and Hillsong
- We sing this on Sunday mornings at church. I can't help but lift my hands in praise every time I sing it!

5. Your Name - Paul Baloche
- We sing this one at church too. His version is not my favorite, but I love the song.

6. Word of God Speak - Mercy Me
- I love Mercy Me. There is a quality in the lead singer's voice that reminds me of my husband when he sings. This song has always spoke to me.

7. Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
- I know this isn't the usual "praise" song, however, when I hear it I am reminded of the Chapman family, all they have been through and how they are still singing. It also serves as a reminder of how precious time with our children really is.

8. Louder than the Angels - Joel Engle
- Joel Engle was our worship leader at camp a few years ago. I was struggling with losing a family member. I had and still have tremendous peace flow through me when I hear this song and I'm reminded of that time. He also has one that is called "In the Shadow of the Cross" that is beautiful too.

9. My Redeemer Lives - Nicole C. Mullen
- This is an oldie but goodie. The power of the words touches my heart every time!

10. I'm going to end with a hymn. Amazing Grace. (My favorite is actually "How Great Thou Art." I especially love it when it is sung with Chris Tomlin's "How Great is our God." )However, I chose my husband's favorite hymn. I chose it in honor of him. God blessed me with a musician for a husband and he truly inspires me to worship when he sings, because he has such a heart for worship. Although we like the old hymn, nothing wrong with the way it was originally written...once again the Chris Tomlin version "Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)" totally stirs my heart.

Alright, there you have it. My top ten favorites, for now anyway. There will be something new and beautiful that will come out tomorrow that will have me "kitchen dancing," for joy. Truth is my list could have been longer...

I would love to hear from you and what your favorite songs are, maybe you could give me your top three? I'm always searching for a new little song to fight of the Monday blues!

Remember, the Lord didn't promise that we wouldn't ever have troubles...He promised us His presence amidst those troubles. So dust off your CD player, or tune into your favorite radio station and put a little bounce back in your step as you head out the door each day. I promise, if you look for it, you'll find that song in your heart!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Little Inspiration for the Monday Morning Blues...

Everyone has been talking about the holidays being over, having to go back to work and school and just feeling downright yucky. Well, truthfully, I'm feeling the same way. Those Monday morning blues get me every time. Poor Mondays, always following Sunday, the day of rest and spiritual renewal. The poor "day" can't catch a break!

I decided to change that. I decided that today, MONDAY, was not going to be dreaded. It isn't going to be tiresome, long or even hard... no, I'm going to do everything in my power to change Monday's image.

How, you ask? Simply this. I'm going to change my attitude. Or at least try my hardest to. Today might not end up perfect, but I know I can find several little blessings in my day if I try.

No, I've decided to cut Monday a break. Who knows I might just find out I like the dreaded day after all. (Well, I can hope can't I?)

If you need a little boost, this song ALWAYS kicks me into shape. It is a blessing in itself. I think it is my new favorite song. (Don't tell Chris Tomlin, though, for I still love "How Great is Our God" too!)
Revelation Song - Kari Jobe

Happy Monday everyone! Join me and find your favorite uplifting tune, or borrow mine and let us start the day out with a song!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Where did my "Baby Doll" go?!!!

12 years, 3 months and two days ago, God gave me a baby girl. She was my "baby doll." I totally was in love with her. I can still remember her sweet smell... you know, that baby smell, a mixture of powder and spit up, that us moms love. I can remember dressing her up in the cutest clothes, pretty dresses, big hats and bows. I can remember being totally in love with her and my husband as they slept together in the recliner. I remember thinking I wish she would stay so small and so sweet...

Hello!!! A little warning would have been nice! What happened to sweet and cuddly baby doll?! Nothing in the "what to expect" books warns you that when you have a girl, you will be in for a bumpy ride! In fact you don't need to just put your seat belt on, you may want to wear padded gear too!

All little girls should come with "warnings" plastered all over their rears! I'm a female and I still was TOTALLY clueless as to what I was getting into. I definitely have a new found respect for my mom and dad who raised TWO of us!

I have a boy too, and yes there are moments... all kids come with those. No, what I am talking about is MOMENTS! The kind where you need to duck for cover, hide or attempt to lock her up for a few days, MOMENTS.

Now, before I go any further, let me be the first to say I am truly blessed. I have a wonderful daughter. She is compassionate, very loving, a deep thinker... she is well liked by both kids and adults. No, I've got it good. Except...

Every month when the hormones start raging. Now, I know I'm not perfect during my special "moments" each month, but after all, I'm "queen" of the house. And this house just doesn't feel big enough for the both of us sometimes!

There is a day of snapping your head off at "hello," eating everything in sight and screaming at the scales, let's pick a really big fight with bubby and then turn around and cry in the pillow because no one in the world likes you including your parents...yada, yada, yada. She will come wanting a hug, only I tremble, waiting for the "evil" twin to take over and snap at me because I "talked" to her. Yes, I will say it again... there should be a warning label.

Actually, I am exaggerating a little (very little). She isn't always that bad. Truth is as I said before, she is a pretty good kid. I think what bothers me the most is that she isn't so small and cuddly anymore! Instead, she is getting tall and totally beautiful in her mom's eyes. She will always be my baby, BUT, she is "NOT" my baby anymore!

I'm a little late in blogging about this...of course I hardly blogged about anything that happened in December, but I still am in a little bit of denial that my baby is in Middle school. She is doing and wanting to do things that middle school kids do... We have already had a cell phone meltdown (basically we are not ready to let her have one), we have felt the new pressure of grades (tears over AR points), multiple teachers (hates one, likes one, loves one, etc...) and of course peer pressure (ugh! Do I really need to say more?) and then we had our first dance.

Yes, I said it. The Christmas dance. Wow! I thought it would do me in. I was between smiling, because she was so excited and crying, because she was so excited! Getting the dress, making the arrangements for someone "cool" to do her hair and everything else that goes with it just about sent me over the motherhood cliff. And she is only in the 6th grade!!!

Here I am, a mom of a growing young woman, scared to death of the road ahead. Good kid or not, well I'm not naive either. Twenty years in youth ministry hasn't allowed me to be...

So, I guess I will go put on my padded gear, with maybe a few extra layers of Charmin, belt myself in, try not to cry constantly that my little girl is growing up and PRAY!!!

I have a prayer card, that I found while cleaning my office (yes, Amb, I'm getting there!). It has a sweet prayer and some great verses that remind me to pray for my kids. I would like to share the prayer with you. Maybe it can be your prayer as you guide your own children and grandchildren...

"Help me today, Lord, to be observant of them and sensitive to them. Give me unusual insight into their lives. Help me to be secure in Your love and care, Father, for I need your help as much as they do.
Help me give attention to my children and be available to them to give guidance in the decisions they face. Help me provide a moral foundation for them. Help me give them emotional health by valuing them and caring for them.
Help me provide for their needs and prepare them for the world they'll face as they grow. Help me share my relationship with you.
And today, Lord, remind me to take the time to understand my kid's perspectives before I speak. Remind me to be more playful with them.
Give me grace, Lord to model for my children what it means to be a good and godly person.

I don't know where you are on your road in life... maybe you should be writing the kid's manual because you have already been there and done that, maybe I've just scared you to death, while you wait for your due date to come, or maybe you are just like me, watching your kids grow before your very eyes, longing to be able to push a button and make them stop...

Whatever the case may be, grab your knees pads and some extra tissue and join me...I've decided that the only way I'm going to survive the next 20 years, is on a bended knee.

I thought you might enjoy seeing what my "baby doll" looked like at her first dance, all dressed up! Say a prayer for me....

My Laundry Man! I think I will keep him!

Many of you that read my blog, also read my sister's blog, (If you haven't read her blog, she is a fun read.) As you know, we have both done our share of complaining about our MOUNTAINS of laundry. Sorry, Sis, but we both do whine about it A LOT! Actually, my sister has always been better at doing her laundry than me. I also have to give her a break because she works and has an extra kid to keep clothed. (If you've seen Tate, then you know he strips down about five times a day...I truly doubt he puts the same shirt back on twice!) I say this to say, that out of my family I am the world's worst at doing the laundry. My husband likes to call me the "maintenance" washer, meaning I wash the night before, what everyone wants to wear the next day. And don't expect me to iron anything until you are fixin' to wear it!!!

Even before I worked, I had piles of laundry. I've stuffed my dirty clothes in trash bags and hid them when company has come, because sometimes the dirty out weighed the clean. I've gone to the store and bought more socks, because no one can ever find clean ones that match! Even worse than washing the clothes, was the ability to put them away. Hate it! Can't explain why, just do! Anyway, I can't tell you how many times I've had to wash "clean" clothes again, because they weren't put away... Do you get the picture? I will say it again: "Move over Amb! You know deep down I am QUEEN of this "MOUNTAIN!"

That is until the month of December. What is special about the month of December, you ask? It holds the memory of the moment, when my husband had a breakthrough. A real breakthrough! It was one of those moments when he realized, no matter how GREAT I am, (Hee! Hee!) I can't possibly do it all!

This is not a new concept for him, for since I have gone back to work, our family has had to deal with a few changes. They have had to be patient with Mom as she has had to learn to shuffle everything and work too! I have to say, my husband has been great! He has done so much to help me with the kids. I am truly thankful that he loves spending time with them and doing things for them.

However, we all know the truth. And that is, that even as a stay at home mom, I was terrible at the laundry! So, you can only imagine how bad it got with me going back to work! After mornings of suffering through: "Dad I can't find this!" or "Dad, I have nothing clean!" (I go to work before they go to school in the morning, so in the mornings, Dad is on duty.) Kevin finally decides to do something about it...

He turns into "My Laundry Man!" Have I told you lately how much I love this guy?! He came home one day and said he was going to whip our family into shape and get rid of the mountain! I am still in awe...I didn't know he had it in him. Kevin, the man who likes to shed his clothes in the living room and leave them there. The man who always yells for a towel from the shower, because he will not get one before getting in. The man who doesn't always care if he matches or if his socks are the same style... Yes, I know right now, if you know my husband personally, you are thunderstruck! I was and still am! But get this...

Right now as we speak, my bathroom floor is laundry free. Three hampers remain empty next to my washer. My kids had jeans to put on this morning and my drawers are running over with the abundance of clean clothes. Down the hall I can hear my husband's sidekicks running, as they wash and dry yet another load.

He may not wear a cape and mask, but:

"Stay away ladies! He is mine, so don't even think of trying to steal my laundry man!"

How long will it last? I have no idea...I kind of think he enjoys it (he wouldn't admit that though!) But it doesn't really matter, for I am basking in the glow of clean floors, a clean hall (my washer/dryer are in the hall) and no trash bags of dirty duds. In fact we decided I needed to spend my day today, going through every one's clothes, since everything "clean" will not fit in everyone's dressers and closets. Wow! Never thought I would ever have that problem!

So, as I weed through my MOUNTAINS of CLEAN CLOTHES (I know you are all jealous now), I'm going to be saying a special prayer of "thanks" for my adorable Laundry Man. I am still in awe of his new found powers!

OK, Amb, I'll let you have your "Queen of the Mountain" title back! Do you need me to send my superhero over?

Friday, January 2, 2009

More of my favorite things...

Well, you see, I got this wonderful new camera from this terrific husband for Christmas and I can't resist the urge to take pictures... my kids aren't home, my dog will not sit still and I WANTED TO TAKE SOME PICTURES!!! My family wouldn't have worked with me anyway...they are still recovering from taking Christmas card pictures and I will just leave it at that. So, I decided since I had so much fun making my list of favorite holiday items, that I would continue on the "my favorite things" search. It was actually fun, for of course each thing I chose has a special memory or meaning. If you know me well, then you know that I love things that are dated with their own story to tell, so hopefully you will enjoy this little tour with me...

There is no significance to the order they fall, for I have too hard of a time choosing favorites, but I thought I would number them so that it would read better. Also know that these are my favorite "THINGS," so don't feel bad if you name is not mentioned. (HA! HA!) So here we go...

1. On both sides of the big window in my dining room I have picture shelves. One side is my family (seen above) and the other side is Kevin's family. They just aren't any family photos, but rather great black and whites of my our grandparents, our parent's wedding, old baby pictures, etc... I love this. I love old pictures of my family and the stories they hold. The two top pictures are my all time favorites. They are of my grandmothers ( the baby in one is my mom) and I think they were beautiful!

2. Read the wooden says "BLESSED." I am, with two terrific kids. My sister gave me a very special Christmas gift one year. She put my kids baby clothes in frames. So instead of them sitting in an old box somewhere, they became art. I love the memories they hold. I still remember bringing Kayla home from the hospital in the crocheted outfit and that Winnie-the -pooh pacifier was a constant pal for Jordan his first year. It is so hard to believe they were ever that small. Time flies. Thanks Sis, for a great gift! I treasure this.

3. My clock. I use to live next to a gift shop. I loved that gift shop and all the wonderful treasures it held. One day they got these beautiful clocks in. I loved them, but never could find the extra money to buy one. One Sunday at the church we were going to at the time (my husband was a minister there) they called me up front. It was my birthday and they had a special "birthday wish" for me. It turned out to be the clock! I cried and I'm not a public crier. They just wanted to do something special for me, for my birthday in appreciation for all I did for them and for supporting my husband with his ministry. I will always treasure this. Not only is it beautiful, but it reminds me of the feeling of "being appreciated," something we all need once in a while.

4. This plate belonged to my Granny. It hung on her wall in her living room for as long as I can remember. She was a collector of "treasures." She would go from garage sale to yard sale to auction, in search of what she considered to be a treasure. I have several of these treasures, several which I will show you pictures of, but this one has an unusual story with it. Actually, the plate and my Grandmother are not really why I love this plate... it actually has to do with my Grandpa and how I acquired the treasure. I love plates, especially "pink" plates (I'll explain that later) and my whole family knew I loved dishes, old dishes with pink flowers on them. I was sitting in my Grandpa's living room one afternoon, admiring that plate (my Granny had passed away a few years earlier and he had remarried) and a thought crossed my mine. I would like to have that plate "one day" since it was PINK and was my Granny's. So, I talked to my Mom about it and together we asked Grandpa if "one day" I could have it. He smiled, walked into the living room, took it off the wall, went and dusted it off and handed it to me, saying "Your Granny would have loved for you to have it. Take it now, so it will for sure be yours." I was flabbergasted that he did that. Yet, I loved him to death for it. I will not say anything more about it, but my family knows NOW, why he did what he did. Thank you Grandpa Sib! (I wish I had asked for more!!!)

5. Another PINK plate! However, this is the plate that started my whole obsession with fine china, pink roses and dishes in general. When I was a little girl, we would visit my Aunt Fay (by the way she is now 96 years old or is it 97?). Anyway, I was drawn to her china cabinet and these beautiful dishes that she had. I would always tell her how beautiful they were and that one day, I too was going to have some rose dishes like her. When I got married in 1993, she had a box waiting for me. Inside was her rose dishes. She had never had kids and knew I would be the one to "appreciate" them. She was right, for I have really treasured them through the years, even collecting pieces to go with them, doing my own "treasure" hunting. My Aunt Fay was and still is a very loving, generous lady and I love her. I am thankful for that box of plates and look forward to passing them on to my daughter one day along with stories of our dear Aunt.

6. These glasses were "Granny Treasures." She found them at different yard sales through the years, collecting 13 or 14 of them. When my cousin, my sister and I were younger she had asked us what we wanted out of her treasures. My cousin chose her china, my sister chose coca cola glasses (she was VERY young) and I chose the green glasses. (I already had my sights on the rose china!) Sure enough, when I got older, the green glasses became mine...well that is with the exception of half of them. I ended up sharing them with my sister, who as a young adult realized she didn't think the coca cola glasses were that big of a deal after all. I've had many people tell me the glasses are worth something and I have to agree. Of course, I'm not talking about money. To me they are treasures of the heart, reminders of my Granny.

7. I have also gained some real special items from my husband's side of the family. One of my favorites is this old trunk. His Me Me gave it to me a few years before she passed away. She knew I liked "old junk" as she liked to put it. She was right, I do like old junk when it was something like this. The story behind this old trunk goes something like this: When Kevin's grandparents first got married, a carpetbagger came to stay with them. He asked if he could leave his trunk with them and he would send for it later. They never heard from him again. It had been in her wash house for years, forgotten. Not only do I think this trunk is special because it is really old, but I love it because out of all her children and grandchildren, Me Me chose to give it to me. I really loved that lady!

8. Another favorite thing of mine belongs to my son. It was given to him by his Papa, my father in law. Jordan is his only grandson, so although he is the youngest grandchild, this is his treasure. I love it. It is a miniature roll top desk, with a matching chair. It was my father in law's when he was a boy. Isn't it cute? Papa just turned 77 years old, so that will tell you how old this little set is. I hope Jordan will one day appreciate it as much as his mom does. In the meantime, I think I will treasure it for him.

9. This chest belong to my dad. My Grandpa Jack built it when he was young. (don't worry, Dad, I won't say how long ago that was!) The story behind this chest is that my dad got it when he got married. It has been all over the world and one day, while my family was having a yard sale in Thailand, my parents discussed selling it. I threw a fuss. If they didn't want it anymore, than I did. I guess even then, I loved pieces of furniture with history. Well, as you can see, I ended up with it. It has been in my bedroom, my kitchen and now my dining room. I love this old piece of furniture. It has history. It was made by a man I adored for a man I love dearly. Thanks Dad, for letting me keep it.

10. I guess I will end my list here for tonight. Believe me, I could go on and on... there is Granny's mickey mouse cookie jar, Nanny's salt and pepper shakers and glass jars, my table from Aunt Fay, my quilts... as I said I could go on. Maybe I will have a part two sometime. If you are interested let me know.

For now, let me tell you about this bowl (sorry about the dust on it, I guess it's time to do some cleaning!). Anyway, when I got married, I received a package in the mail. It was from my step grandmother, who lived in Oregon. My grandfather had died a few years before and the honest truth is that I only met her a few times in my life. She was always good about sending me stuff on the special occasions. I did not expect this. It was an heirloom. Evidently, it belonged to my great grandmother, one of the few things they still had of hers. I was honored and still am. Although, I am the oldest "granddaughter," I was surprised she chose me to give it to. Maybe an angel whispered in her ear that I like that "old junk." My step grandmother died not to long ago. I probably sent her a thank you card, like I did everyone else who sent my a gift on my big day, but I kind of wish now I had said more. Somehow, sometimes, "thank you" doesn't seem quite enough.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my tour of favorite things. Maybe we can do it again soon. I really do have a lot of treasures and junk and stuff! My daughter asked me one time why I liked "old" things... I really had to think about it for a while, in fact I'm still not totally sure I know the answer. I will say this: there once was a young girl, who moved her whole life. Although she wouldn't change her travels and past experiences now for anything, I think that young girl always longed for that place called "home." Her grandparents and other relatives represented that for her, and all the memories that go with them. Hence, a love for the old, with a story to tell.

These treasures that I have are only "things." It is actually what these things represent and the memories they hold that make them special. The Bible says "where your treasure is, there your heart is too." I agree with that. I'm thankful for the people who have gone before me in my life, who have raised me, loved me and showed me Christ. I've been blessed with a wonderful family, a great life. I'm thankful for all the souvenirs I've been given to remind me of those blessings.

What about you have a "favorite thing?"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A few of my favorite "Christmas" things....

Happy New Year...again!!!
Wow! My friends and family are really in shock now! Two posts in one day. I know I've left everyone speechless...
Truth is, since I missed posting during the whole Christmas season, I'm going to play catch up.
I am going to call this post a "few of my favorite things." Now remember, I'm still in the holiday mode, so bear with me if you have all been there and done that. After all, my December was a little busy and a few things were put on the back burner (like my blog) for a while. So, here is my list of Holiday things (and moments):

1. My family (my husband and kids). They make me smile. I am truly blessed. I love them so much... the holidays always represent a time to spend with family.

2. The rest of my family... love them. Let me see... I have my mom and dad, my sister, my brother in law, 3 nephews, my mother in law and father in law, Kevin's brother and sister in law and a niece. I also have a few aunts, uncles and many cousins I'm proud of, as does Kevin. Neither one of us has a grandparent anymore, but I am truly thankful for the wonderful memories I shared with mine when they were still with us. Since I don't have a "group" shot to share with you, I'll just post this one of my sister and I. We don't think we look alike, although everyone says we do. What do you think? Sorry for our "spookiness."

3. My trees. Alright, now everyone in my family likes to make a big deal about me having more than one tree. I have two in my living room/dining room and I love them! One is my Chrismon (symbols of Christ) tree and one is what I call my "Santa" tree. The Chrismon tree is full of angels, crosses, nativities and other symbols that represent Christ and all he has done for us. this tree is very special to me. I love how it reminds me each day, during the holidays, what Christmas is really about.

My Santa tree is just fun and family. It is decorated with Santas and snowmen, my kid's ornaments and lots of memories. There are those crazy ornaments we got at "dirty Santa" parties, the Hallmark ornaments my kids got when small and a few handmade items made by two special little artists in my family.

I love Christmas trees. I love to turn out all the lights and just sit by tree light. Love them!

This is my Chrismon tree and below is my Santa tree.

4. My stockings. Kevin and I got these matching stockings, our second Christmas together as a married couple. I loved them, for they were so much better than the felt ones we had the year before. I haven't been able to replace them, for they represent a lot of memories. We have had them now for fourteen years. I can still remember the candy, the watches and jewelry, the Cd's, and even underwear that has filled them. We both decided not to fill them this year, but I still hung them to remind me of how blessed I am. God gave me a great guy who loves me. What more could a girl ask for?!

5. My Snowmen. A few years ago I started collecting Heartwood Creek, Jim Shore, snowmen. I have about ten right now. Some are big and some are little. They represent the friends, family and church families that have given to me through the years.

6. My Christmas cards. This year I covered a poster frame with wrapping paper and made a collage of all my cards from friends and family. I find myself stopping by it each day to look at all the pictures and holiday wishes from friends and family. It too serves as a reminder to say a little "thankful" prayer for those people that God has placed in my life. Of course it is a guilty pleasure, for it also reminds me of the box of cards, with my kids pictures on them that have yet to be sent. If you are reading this and are normally on my Christmas card list, I am sorry. I'm afraid the cards were another item that got put on the back burner this year.

7. My chrismon ornaments. They were given to me by my mother. They were made by Thai women in Thailand. Not only are they on my favorite tree, but they too serve a purpose. They remind me of all the years I spent overseas while my parents served on the mission field. So they have a "double" meaning for me. Chrismon ornaments are symbols of Christ and they were made in a country where my parents served as missionaries...pretty special if you ask me. Here is the dove...

8. The food. I love turkey and dressing and of course everyone knows I love mashed potatoes (especially my mom's!!!). Of course there is all the wonderful Christmas goodies we get each year. This year my family enjoyed his mom's famous peanut brittle, peanut butter fudge squares made by Kevin's secretary (I won them and the cutest snowman cookie jar at a party:)) and a plate full of cookies given to Kevin by his young music student. Of course there was a load of food at each party or fellowship we went to. Christmas day we had the traditional Christmas feast at Kevin's parent's house and I had made a cake and my sister in law made cider for our Christmas Eve game night. however, I have to say my favorite meal was at my house this year. It was the Saturday after Christmas and my Mom, sister and I got in the kitchen and cooked an "Olive Garden Holiday Buffet." We had about four different pasta dishes, salad, bread and I had made one of Kevin's favorites, "crafty crescent lasagna." It was all wonderful. I think I'm still stuffed from the "event." It was a nice change after all the turkey and ham we had tasted for the past two months. It may just become a new tradition for my family. Here's a picture of my Italian Christmas table.

9. The gift my kids got from my mother in law. It is special. She made all three of her grand kids a afghan for Christmas. She spent hours knitting the blankets and I appreciate her for it. I have many things given to me or made for me by my two wonderful grandmas. Now that they are no longer with me, those items given to me are so precious. I hope my kids know what a special treasure they have been given... Here are my kids and their cousin with their colorful gifts.

10. I think I will close this post with one more thing. My special gift this year. Did I mention I have a pretty terrific husband? He surprised me with a new camera. I guess I must have been a pretty good girl this year. Actually, it is probably just the case of he loves me so much, he chose to overlook my shortcomings!!! Anyway, he got me a new digital camera and I love it! My sister is totally jealous, although her laptop and pink computer bag were pretty wonderful too! As you can tell, I am totally in love with my new camera, hence this post and all the pictures. Of course I'm still learning how to use the thing! So, you will have to forgive this last picture, for it was taken with my "old" camera...

I truly hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know I did!

Happy New Year!

Alright...I know everyone is probably having a mild heart attack right now while reading this. Yes, I hate to say this but it has been about three weeks since my last post. Sorry, for the few and interested. I have to say it has been a very crazy past month. It has also been a wonderful month full of memories, family and many blessings.

To sum up the month of December... well it went something like this in a nutshell:
7 Christmas parties, 2 birthday parties, 1 Christmas dance, 1 Church "Lottie Moon" talent show, 1 choir musical, 1 family "get together," Christmas Eve service and family over for games afterwards, Christmas day at the in law's and a house full of eleven people (my family) for four days! Of course that was on top of school, work, Sunday School and Youth Group and day to day chores! Needless to say, I'm a little worn out. But ask me if I would change anything and I would give you a big "NO." I have so many wonderful memories of smiles, laughter, hugs, food, family and friends. God was very good to me this year!

You notice I said "God" was very good to me this year... and I didn't mention one gift? Oh believe me, I got the gifts, wonderful, my sister is extremely jealous, I'll let you know what they are in another post, gifts. But for now, I just want to simply relish the fact that I felt very blessed this Christmas.

I look around and realize that I have so much to be thankful for. Yes, I was busy. Yes, there were days I felt myself dragging. Yes, there were moments that I wished for the world to slow down so I could keep up. But the truth is there are so many people that have nothing and I have so much... who am I to complain?

I'm not talking about money and gifts. Rather, I'm talking about my husband, my children, my family, my friends and my church. These are the gifts that make my life busy and chaotic. However, they are also the gifts that "complete" me and make me feel special and very blessed.

This year was a little harder for me, the first time I worked outside the home, around the holidays, since I have had children. There were days I felt behind and felt like I was missing a little "Christmas Spirit." Yet, I have a job, I have a home, I have plenty to eat and more, I have a wonderful family, I have a great church and friends...

And I have a great Lord and Savior, who said "I forgive you, my child." He decided to give the greatest gift of all, himself, allowing me, this sinful, "naughty," child, to remain on the "nice" list, no matter how undeserving I am of the honor.

Today is the start of a new year, with all the New Year's resolutions. I could try to make a list, like everyone else, but I never seem to keep them very long. I think this year, I'm just going to ask the Lord, daily, to help me make a "thankful" list. Each day, I need to be reminded of my blessings, even when the rainy days come my way. I want to pray for a thankful heart, that cherishes what I have been given, on the days in between the holidays. Each day is truly a "special occasion." Each day is a gift from the Lord.

What is on your "thankful" list?

Happy New Year!