Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sometimes we just need a little reminder...

It is so easy to be caught up in the craziness of everyday life. Paying bills, work, school, cleaning house, dance, baseball, meetings... it all gets kind of hectic around the house at times. There is sometimes a moodiness that builds, due to the pressures and stress of the day, well to be totally honest we sometimes take our tiredness and frustrations out on the people we love most in the world.

Our church is undergoing a series called 40 Days of Love. Not to toot my own horn but I've always been known as a "nice " person who pretty much has a lot of compassion and love for others. I even tend to cheer for the underdog. So, going through something like this "love" series, I'm a minister's wife, it shouldn't be any big deal for me, right?

Wrong!!! Since I've started reading the book, " The Relationship Principles of Jesus," by Tom Holladay, with my church, I've been convicted daily. To love like Jesus loved...impossible. To aim to love like Jesus, well it is not an easy task. I have been trying so hard to just be open and loving towards those I come in contact with, strangers and friends alike. I'm trying to smile more, do more, be uplifting in my speech, truly listen when my kids are talking and just do extra little things for my hubby. (Yeah, reading through the Fireproof stuff too.) However, there are some days like today, when I just feel helpless. Like I can't fight off the bad of this world and it wants to suck the life out of me. Ever feel like that?

I woke up this morning with the verse of the week, for our church, on my mind; "Love...doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do." 1 Cor.13:5 (OUCH!!!) I even prayed that the Lord would help me stay true to that verse today. Yet, by the time my lunch break hit, I already felt like I had failed my Lord. I came home for lunch and just begged God to show me some sign of encouragement today; a letter, a verse, an encouraging word, anything.

"Ask and you shall receive!"

I had rented the movie Fireproof over the weekend...LOVE IT! The movie speaks to me in a special way every time I see it. Anyway, when I was watching it one of the songs jumped out at me in the movie. After the movie was over, I of course sat down at my friend the computer and Googled the song. I found it and it is one of my new favorite songs!

While I'm Waiting - John Waller

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on you, Lord
And I'm hopeful
I'm waiting on you, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait.
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve you
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not be faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait...
I'm waiting
I'm waiting on you, Lord
And I'm peaceful
I'm waiting on you, Lord
Though it is not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on you, Lord

You can go to his website and watch the video of the song. Anyway, I decided to cheer myself up at lunch today, and watch the video. I did, only this time, for some reason, as I was watching the video, I was drawn to the cross, that is in the movie. It is a big part of the movie, so I had seen it before, but today I couldn't take my eyes off of it...

All of a sudden I jumped up and ran to my back yard... It was still there!

Last summer, an old storage unit was moved off the church property to our yard, for Kev to use as a workshop and for storage. He had to clean it out. Inside had been everything from old appliances to props from past musicals. Many things were thrown away. There was however one object that Kev had leaned up to the building and I guess kind of forgot about. I now know why... it was my "sign" in the backyard. My reminder that God does "LOVE" me and that He is going to carry me through the rough days and rejoice with me during the good ones. He was sending me the "sign" I had begged for and then reminded me of my verse..."love does not keep a record of wrongs..."
I had passed that cross a million times while pulling into my carport. I just need to be reminded that it was there. I do not know how long it will stay there. It doesn't really matter. It served it's purpose today... reminding this girl how to love. Though some days "it's painful, I'm waiting on you , Lord!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

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

Here's an update of what's up in my life...

My cousin's funeral was today. It was very well attended. I am glad for it shows how loved she was. Thank you for your prayers.

I went to the dentist today...AGAIN!!! Still working on finishing the old root canal. Today was about putting in a temporary filling and making a mold for the crown. Two and a half hours of holding my mouth open, was NOT fun! I didn't feel real royal afterwards, either! :)

I went grocery shopping today. I have decided that I might as well leave my checkbook at the door...the store takes all my money anyway!!! Two hundred dollars in groceries today!!! Ugh!!! Of course that is because I am coming off spring break, and my kids were home. They ate, drank and used everything!!! I'm going to have to start saving now for summer groceries. Today I needed everything from paper towels, to ketchup to shampoo...yep! Out of everything!

By the way, on a side note, a certain Sonic today is on my sister's hit list. She was on the phone with me, while I was shopping and she was sitting at sonic. When they told her they were out of Diet Dr. Pepper, I was scared at what she might do... my sister loves her pineapple diet Dr. Pepper! She handled herself very well. You were very grown up about the whole thing, Amb. I'm so proud! How was the pineapple diet coke? :)

Tonight I fixed the most delicious dinner... I started by steering my grocery cart to the hot food bar at Walmart, whisked one lemon pepper rotisserie chicken into my cart, watched the lady whip me up some good 'ol mashed tators with gravy and then watched her scoop out some creamy mac and cheese. Oh but that is not all. If you know me at all, you know I topped it all off with some fried okra. Yes, I know it is not on my diet...it is not on anyone's diet for that matter. But I didn't care. It was good.

Did I tell you I got volunteered for another project at school for my son's class? Yep! That would be me, "MRS. PEOPLE PLEASER CAN'T SAY NO AND PEOPLE KNOW THAT!!!" Like I have time! However when your son's teacher and the lady that is President of the PTO this year both go to your church, well... kind of explains its self, doesn't it?

Our church is having someone come in view of a call this weekend for the position of music minister. I'm excited! However, I will say that I personally have enjoyed hearing my husband sing every Sunday morning, as he leads. But the truth is that this will bring the stress level down in his life. It has been hard juggling everything and feeling like you are not always doing your best in all areas.

I'm excited for my parents because they are on their way to selling their house. So happy for them!

Well, I guess that is all I know for now. Right now I'm just plain tired. It has certainly been a Monday! I think I will end the day by treating myself to an early bed time...oops! It is already almost ten. Oh well, there goes that plan...maybe tomorrow then. Goodnight everybody!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All in the name of baseball...

My son loves his long hair. If I'm truly honest, there are days when it lays just right and I kind of like it too. But not during baseball season. Long hair and baseball caps and helmets just don't go together. Long hair and hot spring and summer nights on the field , don't go together. No, my young man may look cool with his long locks part of the year, but when it is time for baseball, it's time for a trim.
He got one last Wednesday. I would have written about it then, but I didn't have a good picture yet. Funny thing is, he is still having to get use to fixing his hair. Long hair is actually easier for him to fix, believe it or not, because his hair is really thick and just lays down. When it is short, well old mister rooster tail wants to stand up. I hadn't realized he was having a "bad hair day" until I sat beside him in church this morning. He leaned up, I looked over and then came the giggles...

"Mom, you laughing at my hair?"

"Noooo!!!" ( Smirk. Smirk.)

"You are laughing at my hair! Is it bad?"

"Noooo!!!" (Smirk. Smirk.)

"What's it doing?"

"Standing straight up."

"Oh..." (Shrug)

And there you have it. Boys! If he had been a girl he would have definitely reacted differently. If he had been an older teenage boy, he might have reacted differently. No, he is still my young ten year old son for now. I have to smile...

I am totally in love with this boy whether he has long locks or has decided to share his head with a rooster.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I was told yesterday that one of my cousins passed away. She was just a couple of years older than me. Her husband found her in bed the other morning...she didn't wake up. It is very sad.

We were never real close, but close enough that a piece of my heart broke off when I heard of her death. Her mom and my dad were first cousins, so whatever that made us...I always get the cousin line mixed up. Anyway, we use to hang out at the creek when we were young and the whole clan chose to get together. She would come over and play when I was in town visiting my Nanny. She was a part of the traditional family yard sales that took place every summer. She took care of my Nanny when she was sick.

My cousin Kenna had made many wrong choices through her growing up years, yet she was very loved. She new how to love and care for others too. I appreciated that about her. She had turned her life around and was leaving her mark on the hearts of her family and friends. She was way to young to go...

Her funeral is Monday. Unfortunately I will be unable to go. My parents will pass on my love and prayers. But I will be thinking of her and my family. Only God can answer our "whys?" but for whatever reason there may be for her passing quietly from this world at such a young age, I know my Savior is the giver of peace.

Please keep my family in your prayers. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, cousin and friend.

Kenna, if you can hear me, give my Nanny a big hug for me in heaven, OK?

"Its my Life!!!"

"It's MY LIFE!"

Remember the days when you thought it, said it, even yelled it? Oh, the glorious teenage years! Those were certainly the days! I have so many GREAT memories, yet I also remember the "blown way out of proportion" teenage troubles too. A bad hair day in the '80's was enough reason for me to just want to go back to bed!!! ( After all, it was certainly all about the Hair in the 1980's. ) There were certainly moments, when I look back, that I am amazed my parents didn't go insane. Do teenagers want to mouth off just for the fun of it?

Well, I have entered the "zone." My precious baby girl is officially 12 and a half years old. Ugh! Of course I do not know what is ahead for already she is opinionated, stubborn, and MOUTHY!!! Everyday I try to go back and remember what she might be feeling, why she responds the way she does to certain things, digging deep to find compassion and understanding, because after all I was a young teenage girl at one time too. I think it is important to find the the things we have "in common." I think it is important to find things that we both like and enjoy.

I don't know how long it will last, but right now our common thread is MUSIC. My daughter has been finding new "songs" on YouTube to listen to. Funny thing is that there seems to be a common thread in her music selections... the 1980's. Yes, I will say it again, my daughter loves '80's music. Oh be still my heart! When I hear her singing and learning to play on the piano songs by Heart, Roxette, and of course my favorite man Jon Bon Jovi, well it takes me back in time to another place and time. The music will come out of her room in a volume of earth shattering degrees and all I can do is smile. Many of those songs make me happy. If only for the memories they old.

Today, Kayla was singing to Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." Although not one of their '80's hits, still a favorite of mine. It made me want to get out of my chair and dance. Yeah, it is my life and I am going to try everyday to make something of it. Hopefully that means spending time and loving on my girl everyday along the way as long as she will allow me to.

I think it is time for some kitchen dancing! Kayla, me and our friend Jon. Want to join us?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Best Chicken Noodle Soup Ever!!!

A few weeks ago, you my very few, faithful, followers probably remember I had my wisdom tooth removed and was down and out for a few days. Don't worry, this is not another post about my big mouth and all it's troubles... No, it is so much better than all of that.

Well anyway, while I was out and hurting, my wonderful pastor's wife made me some soup and cornbread. YUM!!! I have to say it was simply the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had and the best cornbread too! My kids wanted seconds and thirds. I enjoyed it very much too, and that is so unusual for me because I usually only like chicken noodle when I'm sick.

The crazy thing is that when I went back to ask for the recipe, she couldn't give me one. You see, she is one of those "a little of this and a little of that" cooks. In other words, nothing is ever written down. They experiment with every pot, and no two bowls taste the same. Very frustrating for someone like me who didn't grow up cooking from scratch. (I think if you have to add an ingredient or two, even if it comes in a box or can, that it is from scratch!!!)

However, this wonderful cook of a friend dictated to me what she "remembers" doing so I could reproduce what my kids called the"best soup ever." Granted people, if you like lots of veggies and "chunks" of stuff that doesn't look like it should be there, there might be a better soup out there for you. But if you are looking for a "kid friendly, " the onions are in there but you can't see anything but chicken and noodles, then this is certainly right up your alley!!!

Anyway, I'm writing about the soup tonight because I attempted to recreate the culinary masterpiece and be "the best Mom ever!" Did I succeed? Partly... I say that because it did turn out delicious, if I do say so myself. However, it may take me a few tries to get it "just right." Not all is lost, for I will keep trying because the family did give it a thumbs up.

If you would like to attempt your own version of "the best soup ever," then here are the ingredients my dear friend sort of "remembers."

Chicken breast boiled in bouillon cubes, garlic salt, onion and salt and pepper.
Add chicken stock as needed.
Take the chicken out and shred, put the egg noodles in to cook in the chicken stock.
Add a can of cream of celery soup.
Put the chicken back in the pot and add some ranch seasoning mix.

Easy. But oh so good. I guess the next step will be finding out how she made her cornbread...it certainly wasn't Martha White! Sorry Martha, but evidently you and I haven't been cooking from scratch all these years...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hair Happy!

Because of lack of time, it has sadly been a little while since my last haircut. Frustrating!!! When you are in a serious need of a trim, like I was, it either takes FOREVER to style the hair or you end up putting it in a ponytail, EVERYDAY!!! Well I am happy to say I will be saying goodbye to the ponytail holders for a little while anyway. Today I had the day off from work, so I carved out a few minutes in my schedule to go get pampered at the salon.

Love it! If I had the time and money I would go everyday...I seriously LOVE someone playing with my hair!!! Anyway, I got a new "do" and promised my sister I would share with you guys my new look, so of course she could tell me how FABULOUS I look. :)

Do you feel happy after a haircut? I do, well if it is with my trusted hairstylist anyway. I have to admit I have had a few BAD cuts in the past that left me in tears. (Amb, now is NOT the time to drag old pictures out!!!) But for the most part I feel happy and pretty for the day. If only I could win the lottery, find a hidden treasure or have a long lost relative that would leave me some money, then I could have someone wash and style and send me off with a smile...everyday. But for now, I will go every once in a while and be hair happy for the day!
Front view...
The back view...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The jury is still out...

I just got back home today from a mini two night trip visiting my parents. On the way to my parent's house we stopped by a Best Buy, so my husband could do a little "shopping." Funny, how it is OK to stop at a Best Buy for a "potty break" but the Target in front of it might be out of the question! Life can be so unfair sometimes!!! Honestly, I didn't even ask...this time.

Anyway, as we entered the store, Kayla and I went straight to the movie aisle. We were in search of the latest kid flick that my nephew wanted for his birthday. After finding the "talking dog" movie we turned around and low and behold, there it was... TWILIGHT. I thought Kayla was going to die of excitement right there. Her face said it all. Needless to say, we bought the movie.

The thing is my sister loves the books almost as much as my daughter does. Both have been trying to get me to read them, but for some reason I haven't been interested. It is comical to watch how excited they get, though. I told Kayla we needed to wait to watch the movie so her aunt could watch it too and she was a little torn. I mean, it was hard for her to wait a whole another day to watch the movie, yet there was an anticipation of watching with someone who appreciates Twilight as much as she did. She waited for her Auntie Amb.

Anyway, last night we all sat down to watch it. Kayla, my sister Amber, Kevin, my parents and me. It was cute. Kayla was so excited and couldn't even lay back and relax. She was quoting lines and telling us what was happening. Amber was giddy too, but a lot of help in understanding what was going on...after all I still haven't read the books! Although I could see why the movie and books have tongues a wagging, and after the movie was over I even wanted to know what happens next, I still can't say it is up there in my top ten list.

It is a love story, I will give everyone that. Yet, I don't know if it is up there with Pride and Prejudice. I may have to watch it again one of these days with my daughter...I'm sure it will be a $17.00 well spent on her behalf. It was entertaining, but I am still not in love with the whole vampire idea I guess. Call me a wuss, but I just don't like the idea of things jumping out at you or watching you sleep.... I think I will stick with my Mr. Darcy fantasy, thank you very much!

As for right now, the books are still not on my reading list, but I do enjoy watching and listening as my daughter tells me all about her "EDWARD."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just Rambling...

I fell asleep in the middle of "movie night" with my kids last night. It was only 8:30p.m.!!! I am feeling a little OLD right now... I will have to ponder this a little more.

We rented "Bolt." Cute from what I saw. I liked the last 20 minutes of it, anyway! :) Oh and we had Walmart pizza for dinner, pretty good stuff! Pretty good night with the fam... Well what I remember of it!!!

I just found out that I probably will not win "Mother of the Year" with my daughter today, since the Twilight movie on DVD came out today and there were 200 something people at Walmart at 12:00, waiting in line for their copy. What are my chances of going this afternoon and buying one? Probably not good, huh?

I have to pay bills today, not fun. I will probably NOT be a happy camper when I'm finished. Where does all the money go?! I rented "Made of Honor" last night, may have to watch the chick flick to cheer me up when I'm done. I like me some Patrick Dempsey!!!

Good news is I'm going to see my Mom and Dad during spring break, for a few days. A few days off work with my family is always something to look forward to. A few days off work, well that is exciting anyway! Happy Spring Break everybody!

Well, I have rambled enough for one morning...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Idol madness...

I am guilty... I am a REALITY TV fan. I have been a devoted follower of Survivor since it's second season in Australia, watched Kelly Clarkson win the first American Idol title, loved Emmit Smith on Dancing with the Stars who knows how many seasons ago and of course I eat my Wendy's hamburger while watching The Biggest Loser every Tuesday night. Like I said, GUILTY!

This past Wednesday, American Idol... well I have to say I LOVED IT when Carrie Underwood sang with Randy Travis. First of all, Randy Travis is near and dear to my heart. He reminds me of my Grandpa for some reason. He is just a good 'ol CHRISTIAN country boy! Second, when I first met my husband, he started introducing me to the likes of Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and especially some Randy Travis. In fact the song Carrie and Randy sings is one of Kev's favorites. Like I said, near and dear to my heart...good memories!

I know Randy's voice isn't what it use to be, but It was just a "feel good moment" for me, watching that performance...loved it! That Carrie can sing!!!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Being a minister's wife...

I never wanted to be a minister's wife. My dad was a minister and although I realize now what a blessing that can be, as a child... well it is not always an easy life. In fact I remember telling my mom that I would not grow up to marry a minister. I also remember the day she grinned and said, "Maybe you shouldn't ever tell God what you ARE NOT going to do!" In other words, God had different plans than I did for my life.

But isn't that how life is? Very few people KNOW when they are five years old that they are going to grow up and be famous, or a teacher or even a missionary. My parents didn't realize God's dream for them and their adventures on the mission field until I was in third grade!!!

When I met my husband in college, I really just wanted to be friends. After all, he was a MINISTRY STUDENT. But the love bug bit me and I ended up doing a lot of soul searching... I still am. In fact I am always amazed how God can use such imperfect people like my husband and I. But that is another story in itself.

The real reason I am writing this, is God sent me a hug today. One of those "you are not alone" hugs. Sometimes even if you can't make the struggles disappear, it is nice to know that you are not alone and that there are others who understand what you are going through.

I am a HUGE fan of Beth Moore. Love her! Admire her! Envy her and her relationship with our Lord and Savior. This woman has it going on!!! Anyway as a blogger, I love to read her blog everyday. Today was video of messages from fellow minister's wives. Words can not describe how it made me feel to watch and read the words of other women like me.

If you are a minister's wife, I suggest you read her latest post. If you are not a minister's wife and would like to know a way you can lift up or how to pray for those that do minister in your church, you might want to catch Beth's latest post.

It touched my heart...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reading...Jordan's Achilles Heel...

My son has always hated reading. At one time he would have rather done his chores than sit down and read a book, especially one without pictures! He is a good reader, he just doesn't enjoy it very much. However, this year he ended up with a teacher who has found a way to switch his buttons, because all of a sudden he is worried about AR points and READING!!!

He came to me the other day about a book he had read and he was excited about it...

Until today. It was parent/teacher conference day. I had worked it out with Kevin and he was going to go right after school, since we had a busy night. I was late coming home from work so I called home this afternoon...

"Jordan, what's wrong?"

"Mom, I got my grades!"

"How were they?"

"I'm so dumb!"

"You are not dumb! What were your grades..."

"I made a 79 in Reading. It stinks."

At this point I can tell he is on the verge of tears...

"Mom, I've been trying so hard and I brought my AR score up and everything. It was just that one test, Mom, that one stupid test!"

Two weeks ago, my son came home with an "F." We are not sure why, and didn't make a big deal about it, because he was giving himself a hard enough time as it was. It was just one of those days, when for whatever reason, he didn't do his best. We all have those days, but try explaining that to a ten year old. He thinks the world will come to an end because of that one grade.

What he isn't telling, is that his other grades were good, therefore he averaged out to a 79. The crazy thing is that it is just one subject and one grade, with plenty of opportunity to bring it back up. Believe me, he plans on it, if it kills him! He has already told me so! I wish I had been that kind of motivated when I was his age...I've just never been the school person. Therefore I've never been real hard on my kids about their grades as long as they work hard and do their best.

First of all, I don't have to have tough love in this area FOR NOW, for my kids are extremely hard on themselves. Second, I have always considered it a little hypocritical for me to punish for low grades, when I myself have made a few "C's" and beyond... I believe if you do your best, that is what matters.

So, back to Jordan... yeah, he sure is dumb alright! Let me share with you my son's stupidity:


See anything wrong with this picture? His grade in reading last semester was a 91. Yeah, he is dumb alright! He and reading will just have to continue to battle it out until he has it conquered!!! But, unfortunately I think it will always be his Achilles heel...

My latest addictions?

Many women would say that chocolate and coffee were their best friends...help them get through the stress of the day. Not me! But don't worry, this is not where I start proclaiming scripture and get all spiritual. I probably should in the best interest of all of us, but that is totally NOT what this little post is about.

No, I'm here to confess, for although I am not a chocolate lover (probably would be if I wasn't allergic!!!) and I don't like coffee (something my sis doesn't comprehend!) I do have a few little hang ups... Except for a good 'ol Sprite (I broke myself of caffeine a long time ago - had to because of the headaches), my addictions change from time to time. So, is it really considered an addiction? In my case, probably, because I practically live off my favorite somethin' until the next new thing comes around and then I wear my taste buds out with it too! However, here are my three latest favorite things. They taste good and help this "I eat when I am stressed" girl through the rough parts of my day.

I call them my Popsicles. Love them, but they really are an indulgence for me because they are a little on the expensive side. However, they have helped me watch my weight just a little. (I am proud to say I have lost 18 pounds since the first of January!) Of course on the rough days, it probably doesn't help when I eat the whole box!!! The best thing about them is that my kids don't like them...more for me, I say! I'm actually eating one right now...Mmmmm...

The kid in me loves some Sunny D. My new favorite flavor: ORANGE /STRAWBERRY. It is really good...Oh course I have to fight my kids over this one. Did you notice the empty jug? How can you not get happy drinking something with the word "sunny" in it. It makes me smile!

Absolutely the best jellybeans ever! I am constantly buying them, because I know I will be up a creek without a paddle after Easter. Do they even sell these year round? Have you heard of anyone stocking up on jellybeans? I may be the first.

So, if you are a little tired of the same old chocolate and coffee, you might give these little "bursts of pleasure a try. Of course I don't know if a jellybean can actually be compared to chocolate, unless of course you are me, but I thought I would share anyway!

Have a stress free day with a little Sunny D and a hand full of jellybeans on me!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I love this girl!

I love my daughter. God has truly blessed me. However, when I look back at when she was little and see how far we have come I am overcome with emotion... for at one time I didn't know if I would be able to survive...

You see, she was textbook "strong willed child!!!" The nurse handed her to me declaring her that way and she certainly has fulfilled that prediction ever since! When she was small she was always going, I had to have a hold of her at all times or she would be missing in action! She was fearless, adventurous and wanted to explore this great big world of ours and NOTHING was going to stand in her way! I MEAN NOTHING!!! If she didn't get what she wanted, right when she wanted it, we had a screaming, kicking tantrum on our hands. You know the little baby you will see in Walmart that is pitching a fit and the mom standing there helpless? Yep! That was me.

However, it has taken me several years to realize that I wasn't totally myself either. I look back now and realize how much anger I had after she was born. I blamed it on bad allergies, but that was only half of it... I have allergies now, without those emotions spilling over. No, looking back I realize I suffered from postpartum. BAD! And it took a long time for me to recover, due to the fact that I had no help. You see, I was a minister's wife (we are not suppose to have any problems, didn't you know?), I was living in a new place, I didn't have any family close by to help or any good friends to talk to and I was ALONE with my anger. Twelve years ago it was not accepted to go for counseling, take special drugs or admit you as a CHRISTIAN had a little 'ol problem like that! I didn't think there was any help to be found...

I say this to say that although I loved my daughter more than anything, there were days that I was not as gentle or loving as I wish I could have been. If I could go back and change myself, oh how I would. So you can imagine me going through what I was going through emotionally, while dealing with this little baby that certainly had a mind of her own!!!

Today I was talking about it at church. We started the conversation because we had a children's camp fundraiser. It would end up being one of my daughter's "moody" days. The kind of day when she has a sour attitude, and that means there is really no hope for getting her out of it for a good while...once she sets her mind, well it is a chore to even try to change it! In my usual fashion I had to coax her back to doing what she was suppose to, allowing her attitude to change before she even realizes it! (She can be so much like her daddy sometimes!) Anyway, I mentioned her babyhood and what we went through and...

I brought all of this up because I am truly thankful. Kayla still has her difficult moments, she still is on the strong willed side. Yet, she compliments it with compassion, kindness and loyalty. Yes, there are moments of extreme frustration with her, but then again there are days of pure joy too. But isn't that the way it usually is with all children?

I've said it before ( may have even written about it, don't remember!) and I will say it again, I know God has great plans for my little girl. As I watch many students come and go, it is usually the strong ones, after they work through the "kinks" in their path that grow up to do mighty things!

As I sat there eating, today, watching my baby work, I was thankful. She has come a long way from the kicking and screaming little toddler we once knew. She has grown into a young lady her mom can certainly be proud of. And the truth of the matter is, like the old saying goes; "what didn't kill us only made us stronger!!!" :) It was so nice to be able to eat a meal without drama...

Or wait...is this the calm before the storm? Do I need to get the knee pads super glued on? She is going to be a teenager this year!!! Pray for us...

Me and my baby girl!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just put it in my "I JUST DON"T GET IT FILE!"

As I roam the blog world lately, many of my friends have started making lists when they have nothing better to say. Well, I have plenty to say, but one line here and one line there, doesn't usually make for good reading, SO I am going to join my fellow bloggers and make a list... I am going to call my list: "Ten things I just don't get!"

10. How come I can bust my rear cleaning and walk into a room five minutes later and it is already messed up? I really have just about given up! I mean what is the use? I really do need maid service, if only I didn't feel like I had to pick up for the maid!

9. How come you can put "matching" socks in the washer and dryer, yet you never seem to have a matching pair when you take them out of the dryer?!!! I think I have bought I don't know how many packages of new socks in the past year, just to lose them after a washing. Good thing my kids now wear the same size as me...so we all share.

8. How come I can go all morning without feeling hunger pains on a Saturday, yet the minute I enter Church or a meeting of any kind, my tummy rumbles as if I hadn't fed it in a week? Frustrating if not embarrassing!

7. I, as the Mom of the house can go all day without anyone needing anything from me, but the minute I lay down for a little nap, I'm greatly needed and bombarded with twenty questions... why is that? Is there some secret code they give children at birth that says: "Moms can't rest!"

6. Am I the only one that believes in keeping their commitments these days... the person who feels guilty if she doesn't follow through with what she said she would do? People who float in and out of the workplace, church and other activities, without a care in the world, bug me. I mean if the whole world acted like that then nothing would ever get done! Have you noticed that it is the SAME people that seem to do everything? Why is that?

5. Why do some people don't think they have to follow the rules? I know this one is kinda a continuation of #6, but I've had a hard few weeks, need to vent and just wish I knew WHY? It is no wonder why the people pleasers of this world often have depressing moments... Why can't life be fair?

4. Why when you buy a bag of chips, it is only half full? What am I paying for? AIR?!!! Is it a special kind of air?

3. Why is it that the one time you do not check your order at the fast food place, they get it wrong? Do they have special cameras to see if I'm paying attention or not?

2. How come the beautiful sunny weather comes out during the week, when you are forced to work and go to school, but the minute you start planning for the weekend, it turns cold and wet? Something just doesn't seem right about that! I mean, give me a break MR Weatherman! Don't you know Moms are suppose to be able to kick their kids outside to play on Saturdays?

1. This is the big one, the one that makes me extremely frustrated on a weekly basis... Why don't I own a part of Walmart by now, since of course, they take more than their share of my paycheck weekly?!!! I really do wish I had the time and a green thumb, I would try to grow my own chips and cookies! Anyone have a cow for sale?

Well, that is my attempt at a top ten. It might not mean anything to any one else, but I certainly feel a little better, to get it off my chest... thanks for allowing me to get on my "Why?" soapbox for just a minute or two. It is really good therapy! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You have got to be joking!!!

Has anyone ever said something to you and you just looked at them in total disbelief? Well, today it happened...I am going to put this one in the "God DOES have a sense of humor file!"

I was at work and somehow the ladies in the room with me got to talking about age...of course they are all younger than me! Anyway, they were talking about looking young and their skin. Hmm... not really comfortable conversation for someone leaning closer to forty than thirty, with very pale skin... no, I didn't really want to jump in this chat session.

Yet someone decided I needed to be a part of it anyway and I guess you could say "pushed" me into the latest gab fest with a topic that leaves me feeling a little washed up and washed out. The conversation went from tanning beds to facial creams to their "wrinkles." WRINKLES?!! Come on, my sister is older than all of them and even she is 6 and a half years younger than me! As I said, not a comfortable conversation for you know who!

I was starting to get a little discouraged, feeling dumpy, OLD and of course on the pale side, when one of the girls directed a question my way. "Michele, how do you get your skin to look so young?" Huh?!! I must have had a look of confusion plastered on my face because she then began to "clarify" what she meant. "What I mean is, how to you keep your face looking so young?" Did she really clarify anything? I mean I probably still had a look of "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!" written all over.

On the way home today from work I had time to dwell on what she said a little more. I had to laugh! ME?!!! Young looking skin?!! Well I guess if having adult acne, hundreds of freckles and moles and eyes that can't seem to keep eyeliner on, means I look young, then move over beauty products... maybe imperfections and tanless cheek bones are the new look of youth!

Yes, I like to think God was belly rolling in laughter today... but He still managed to send me a little "boost" when I needed it the most.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A past encounter...

Two weeks ago Kayla came home from school and said one of her friends, who also goes to our church, said she had a paper to write in her honors class. The subject? Bangladesh. Well unless you are family or a really, really close friend of mine, you probably have no idea what that would have to do with me. So, I am going to tell you of course! :)

You see, I once lived with my family in Bangladesh. In fact I was my daughter's age. My world travels have always fascinated Kayla, so when she heard about her friend's report, she volunteered me to help. At first I was a little nervous, for it was a long time ago that I was there. I was wondering if I would even be able to answer any of her questions.

The truth? There were a few things I didn't remember, but over all I was a "BIG " help. I managed to scrounge up my old doll collection, a few coins, pictures, pieces of jewelry for her to show and then I made a phone call to my parents and got her a few books and clothing items as well. The fun part was when I took the items to church tonight to give to her. I had ten 6Th grade girls huddled around me fascinated with all the little goodies I brought for the girl to use. Then the questions came from everywhere...random questions...off the wall questions! But I answered each one the best I could and I can honestly say Kayla was beaming at having the "cool" mom for the moment. (Who would have thought my experiences in Bangladesh would ever be considered "cool." I certainly didn't think so while living there!)
But here is the thing... as I started answering her questions and showing my pictures and telling her my little stories of Mathias the cook, going to an International school and my "Iya" (my babysitter/nanny) I had a little regret that I didn't see the BIG picture while living there. I didn't realize what a great adventure I was truly on...
I will not lie, those years in Bangladesh were not easy for me. I had blond hair and blue eyes and the Bengali's all wanted to "touch." I couldn't play in my yard without hundreds (and I do mean HUNDREDS!!!) of people hanging out their windows gawking at the young American girl. I wore a back brace at the time for scoliosis and it was extremely hot and uncomfortable at times. I spent most of my time in my room reading. I didn't have many friends because other girls my age were preparing for marriage, not hanging Tiger Beat posters of John Stamos on their wall (Oh, but I thought he was cute!!!) I didn't like the food very well, the smells of poverty were strong and for a 12 year old girl it could sometimes be a very lonely existence, BUT... and I do mean BUT...I wouldn't change that time in my life for anything!
There were many good memories too! First of all...I still wish I had a cook, a live-in babysitter (for my kids of course! :) ), a man to come do my laundry and clean my floors and someone to take care of my yard! Those were the days... What you think, Mom?
My missionary family. Lots of wonderful and fun memories there! You couldn't find a better friend than a fellow MK (Missionary Kid). Miss you guys!
My dog. I had the best little dog. Frisky. Loved him.
And of course the adventure of just living there. Whether it was the BUCKETS of rain that never let up during the Monsoon season, rose water we drank for communion at church (UGH!), the ferry rides across the river, mission meetings at a deluxe ocean front hotel (Hee! Hee!), rickshaw rides down crowded streets (AND I DO MEAN CROWDED!!!), the snake charmers in my front yard and sharing the area that would be a sidewalk if they actually had them with COWS! Yeah, those were the good old days...
But you know what, they were. I didn't need a textbook to learn about the world...it was my life! Everyday I saw the struggles that people less fortunate than myself face. I saw first hand the differences in religions and the animosity between some of those. I learned what an honor it is to live in a land we take for granted, because I have lived in places where there wasn't the freedoms, opportunities and riches that we take for granted as Americans. I think because of where I have been and what I have seen, it brought me compassion for the world, if nothing else. It made me realize at a young age that God created a beautiful world with many beautiful people, no matter their color or race. I had an education that you simply can not receive while living your whole life in the borders of the good 'ol USA. And for that, I am truly THANKFUL!
When my daughter and her friends looked at me with eyes of "awe," I was thankful. I was thankful for those few moments of broadening their minds. Showing them that there is a world to be traveled out there, that there is more to life than cell phones and Ipods and television. I'm no public speaker (stage fright and panic attacks keep me from going there) but I did enjoy my 30 minutes of opening my Bangladesh treasure box and encountering my past.
Thanks for listening as I rambled on...

This is a picture of my dad, me , my sister and my mom back in the day. (1984?)

"AbAr dakhA habe!" (Till next time!)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Picture cuteness...

OK, if you read my blog then you may remember when I lost my cool over a school picture. Jordan forgot to tell me it was picture day, I didn't send any money, therefore I will not have a 4Th grade class picture for him this year. The good news is they took single portraits too. Pictures that they send home and you decide whether you want to buy them or not. I wasn't looking forward to getting them because I still didn't know how he looked that day...but guess what? They turned out pretty cute, for a school picture!

Isn't my baby cute. Those pictures are sold! Mom, you just have to tell me what size you want...

Be still my heart...

My son walked in to kiss me goodnight, last night. Before he walked away he had kind of a nervous stance...you know that body language your child has when they are afraid to tell you something for whatever reason? Expecting something to the nature of; "Mom, I broke..." or "Mom, about school..." or "Mom, I got in trouble when I..."
I almost had to giggle when he let out his important statement..."Mom, do you think I could get a hair cut before baseball officially starts?"

And then I had to try and control the giggles some more, when he felt he had to defend his suggestion... "Mom, you see my hair sticks out under my ball cap and it doesn't look too good and I get so hot under my helmet and well baseball players don't have long hair..."

I managed to smother my giggles long enough to tell him that I "would see."

After he left, I laughed out loud, enjoying my victory. It sometimes pays to pick your battles, which much to my mother-in-law's dismay I do daily with my son's hair. After all, there are much worse things he could be doing than desiring to look like Zach and Cody off the Disney channel. However, every year at ball time, I tend to give him the "mom speech," something to "think about."

The speech goes something like; "Jorboy, you know you would look better out on the field if you cut your hair and it wasn't all shaggy under your cap, and it would be cooler when you wear your helmet and well you don't see many baseball players with long hair..."

Hee! Hee! I haven't given the "mom speech" yet this year...guess I won't have to. He actually does listen to me every once in a while... Shh! Let's just let him continue to think HE TALKED ME INTO THIS haircut stuff. I will try to keep the "joy" from plastering itself on my face while we are at the salon!
Truth is I kind a like his shiny shag at times! But HE IS RIGHT...for baseball he needs a haircut!!! Well, if he insists! :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

I know you have been dying of curiosity...

Since my little mouth surgery, I know you, my friends and family, are dying to see how puffy my cheek really is...

Need I say anything more?

**On a side note: say a prayer for my nephews. They are very sick with high fevers. Thanks!**

This Mom asks WHY???

Let me start this post with a simple "I love my children." I still remember being pregnant with each one (kinda wish they could remember what I went through!) and picking out the perfect name (although does any kid grow up liking their own name?) and the joy that I felt when they finally decided to enter the world crying (Kayla was two weeks late, I was crying!!!).
In other words I count my children among my biggest blessings, so undeserved...well I'm actually humbled sometimes that the Lord saw me fit to raise these two...but that is another story...

Today, although I love my kids, totally wanted them, would give my life for them, etc... I'm tempted to put a sign on my lawn that says "Free Kids! Get one and then get another one free!" Do you ever have those days?

Here I am, recovering from having the tooth ordeal done, still enduring chipmunk cheeks, resting after attempting to do some cleaning today, when my kids come barreling in the door after school. Rather than hellos or how are you feeling I hear "Mom!!!" Not the good "I love you" mom, but rather I'm fixing to kill someone if you don't do something about it, mom.

The kids have been home for two hours and have argued, fought (yes, the kind where you get hurt!) tattled, fussed, bossed and now are laughing together watching Sponge Bob. Huh? How did they go from a "fight to the death" match, to "let's be best friends and watch TV together" in the space of 30 minutes? Did I miss something? Do they just do this for pleasure... "let's see how long it takes before Mom pulls her hair out and then stop!"

I have a friend who had had enough of her fussy boys one day, so she pulled over at the top of her dirt road and told them to get out and that they could walk the rest of the way home. She said if they needed to fuss, they could just do it without her! By the time they reached the house, they were best buds again, with stories to tell... they had somehow forgotten they had permission to fight on the way home!

I try to remember what went through my own head when I was younger, those days when I would hit my little sister one moment and then protect her in the next breathe. I guess that is childhood. Your sibling ends up being your frustration "punching bag" because you know they will still love you at the end of the day. Thanks Amb, for taking the emotional "hits" during our growing up years! I'm sure you endured many! (And gave your share back!)
I guess there are some things that are simply a part of growing up. After all, I would have to look at someone kind of funny, if they told me their kids never fought. That just isn't normal! The same look I give people, I guess, when they say I have good kids! I want to say; "Show up after school one day...you might change your mind! In fact I would probably have to pay you to take them!" But inside it does make me feel good that in "public" my kids show restraint.
I just have to be oh, so thankful that they save the show for me...

There are just some things this Mom will never understand...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm ALIVE yet half as wise!

I'm a worry wort. I have some crazy childhood fears that like to come back and haunt me every once in a while. It all came to a head Friday morning. Kevin is driving me to the dentist (AGAIN!). Only this time it is the real deal...surgery! Do I even have to tell you I am scared to death?! Since the drive over there is over an hour and then I get there early, well I've had plenty of time to think about it too. I'm really trying to be a big girl...

They call me back, you will be proud to know I went back by myself, Kevin didn't have to hold my hand! The nurses put me in the chair and start to work, getting me ready for the dentist. Now, because of my fear of needles, one of my worries has been the IV. God had a plan to help me out...the other nurse put the blood pressure cuff on so tight that it HURT every time it went to read my blood pressure. My arm has a bruise from it! Anyway, I didn't even realize the other nurse had stuck me until it was a done deal. God has a sense of humor!

I really don't know much else, for after that I just remember Kevin helping me to the car...and I barely remember that!!! However, once the pain meds started wearing off, I HAVE FELT IT! So, I know they did something. I had one wisdom tooth taken out, yet besides pain, my main problem so far has been reactions to the medications. One makes me itch, one makes me feel like I could throw up and the gargling with salt water just plain tastes bad! How is a person suppose to rest with all that going on?

I'm on day three and still have some pain, but my faithful friend Tylenol is now helping me out. I look like a chipmunk with a very swollen cheek. ( No, I didn't take a picture, so you will just have to take my word on it.)

I did learn a few things about myself and my family during this experience... I can be a Big girl when I set my mind to it. Mom and Dad, I didn't make them chase me around the room!

My God is the God of peace. He provides it when we need it most!

My husband can take care of me. The man who runs for the hills when someone is sick, came through for me and has not fussed once about getting me something or helping his wobbly woman make it to the bathroom in time. He even cleaned house and washed clothes all day Friday since he had to stay at home with me. Gotta love him!

I also learned that kids are going to fight whether you are sick or not! I guess not everything makes itself perfect while mom is down and out! Jordan did make his mom gargle her salt water and cooked me some easy mac for dinner, since daddy had to be gone last night for a few hours. It does a Mother good to know that she is raising a nurturing son...

So, after great worry and stress, I'm ALIVE! However, I am still a little worried...after all, I am now down to two wisdom teeth. Does that mean I am only half as wise? I'm going to have to pray about that one, for this blond mom needs every ounce of wisdom she can get!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Disciple Now Experience

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am still very much alive and kickin'...well just barely. I am exhausted! I got off work at 5:15p.m. on Friday and went home, changed clothes and was at the church by 6:00. It was a big weekend for my family and for our church. As the wife of the Student minister, well this was a big one. I spent most of my time away from home this weekend, helping with our Disciple Now. I am tired...yet I have to say it was worth it.

God is AWESOME! We had a great weekend of studying God's word, growing together as a group and just plain having a good 'ol time! By the time the event was finished on Sunday afternoon, I was worn out physically, mentally and SPIRITUALLY! I took a 4 hour nap Sunday afternoon!!! And yes, I still slept that night.

Anyway, to family and friends, I wasn't trying to ignore you. I was just plain busy! Thank you for your prayers...

Oh, by the way, I have a little minor surgery scheduled on a tooth on Friday. Please say a prayer for me...I am just not very good with this medical stuff. I'm trying to be a "Big Girl" about it all...if you know me at all, then I know you understand what I mean by this statement.