Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Envelopes

Just wanted to give you a brief update of our Advent Envelopes.
Day 1-  Welcome to the Christmas Season!  Enjoy some cinnamon rolls for breakfast (on a school day).  Tonight we will have a Christmas decoration scavenger hunt.  (Scavenger hunt in action above.  10-Santas, 8-reindeer, and the word "NOEL" were some of the things on the list.)
Day 2-  Candy Cane Hunt. 
Day 3- Make a gingerbread house.
Day 4-Work on Christmas puzzles with Dad.  (This continues because I bought a pack of 10 puzzles.  They have finished 3 and are working right now as I type.
Day 5-Watch ELF.  My favorite.
Day 6-Make Christmas cards to take to Nana and her friends (Nana is my 89 year old grandmother who lives at an assisted living home) and our neighborhood firemen.
Day 7-Read the real Christmas story.  Luke 2:1-20.
Day 8-Shop at Wal-mart to fill our Salvation Army stocking.  We picked a baby.  This way we did not have to go to the toy department at all and they could focus on the giving part of the exercise.
Day 9-Go to the drive-thru Bethlehem at the church up the street.
Day 10-Family game Night.
So that's where we are.  We have also read our book every night.  The kids are really enjoying opening a book "present" each night. I'll leave you with this...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Camera was on a tripod.  I didn't know Packy had decided to make a crazy face.

1.  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
     Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Children learn by what they see right?  Guess what my kids do?  They scream at each other.  All the time.  Want to know why?  Because I am a screamer.  You might not know if you don't live in my house or visit on a regular basis.  I hate that.  I don't want to be a mom that screams.  My words are far from being sweet to the soul many times a day.  Guess who has some new laminated Bible verses to remind her what God says about her mouth?
2.  Have you started thinking about New Year's resolutions yet?  I have.  Last year I didn't even think about them.  I had already changed so many things in a year I didn't feel like official resolutions were needed.  I used to really be into making grand resolutions, many that were broken on New Year's day (usually around 12:01 am). This year will be more about reflecting over the past year and seeing where I can grow in the new year. No more pressure of specific and attainable goals, sorry Stephen Covey.  Progress, not perfection.
3.  Jason has guitar fever and he has it BAD.  With the help of YouTube he has taught himself to play over the past two years.  I am really proud of him.  Jason really doesn't get the "wants" very often.  I get them all the time.  I get house, car, shoe, everything fever.  He is the non-spender in our house so it's fun to watch him really obsess over something.  For once.  (The last thing he really wanted was his car but he's had that for 5 years.)
4.  Girls are pretty.  Boys are cool.  But cats are just cats.  Wisdom from Packy Churchwell, age 3.
5.  Simple living.  This is something I strive for.  These are some of the websites I like that talk about it are
Simple Mom and  Life Your Way. I can also draw inspiration from my sister and her friends in New York.  Betsy lives in 1400 square feet with 2 kids and one on the way.  This is double the square feet she had in her previous apartment.  Sometimes (when I get house fever) I think I need a playroom, 3 bathrooms, and an office.  Do I really need that?  No.  It would be nice but then I would have to clean it all and you know that's not going to happen.  Simple living. 
6.  My house is LOUD.  If the kids are home, it's loud.  I really enjoy my special morning time before anyone gets up.  It is literally the only time my house is quiet.
7. Emory has officially become a hillbilly.  Her tooth is hanging out of her mouth but she won't pull it and she won't let anyone else pull it.  Papa has even offered boat loads of cash to pull it and she stands firm.  It is really hard to look at her but she is a girl who does what she wants. 
8.  I am trying to remember that there are people who are grieving during this holiday season.  People who have lost parents, grandparents, children, and may be spending their first Christmas, or tenth, without a person who they loved.  There also people who are hurting in their marriages or just hurting from life who might suffer more during this "happy" time of year.  It makes me grateful to see where God has brought me and how he has kept the people around me safe and close to him.
9.  I had two people tell me this week that they prayed for me everyday.  My grandmother does too so that makes three.  Three people are talking to the Lord about me everyday.  Every day.  Wow.  My first reaction is always, "Good.  I need it.", but it is really humbling.  Thinking of others and taking the time to offer up prayers for them is such an amazing gift.  I am very blessed. 
10.  One area I need help with is intentional time with each of my children.  One on one time.  Do you do this?  Every week or once a month?  I am not doing a good job and would love to hear how you do it.

*Baby it's cold outside.  I don't do cold. If I could spend Christmas in the pool I would. Come on spring!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

The Birdhouse is extra sparkly and I can't wait to tell you about it!
1.  We went to Tybee for Thanksgiving and it was awesome.  As usual we followed the slow Tybee pace and relaxed.  Mom and I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving lunch and it was delicious.  We watched football, made s'mores, had good quiet times, rode bikes, went exploring on the beach, made crafts, and watched the Beyonce concert.  (OK, I watched the Beyonce concert but I know I'll never actually go to one so why not watch.  It was quite a production.)
2.  The day after Thanksgiving, Jason and I left the kids and came back to Macon.  We put up all of the Christmas decorations, got a tree from Brad and decorated it, and decided for the first time that we would go with outdoor Christmas lights.  Remember how I told you I wanted the house lit up?  It is lit up. 
3.  The best part of this was that it was a surprise for the kids.  They had no idea what we were up to.  We told my parents that they could not bring them home until it was dark on Sunday night.  They always wanted outdoor lights so we wanted it to be lit up when they turned on to our street.  The surprise worked.  They were super pumped.  They jumped out of the car and went crazy.  Crazy in a good way, for once.  Packy could not stop jumping up and down and loved every single decoration he found.  3 year olds make it worth it.  Jay even gave us props for the outside lights.  Ahhhh.  To satisfy Jay is a task not easily attainable. I even got a hug from my biggest boy.
4.  The sad part was that Packy thought it was Christmas day and wanted to know where all the presents were.  He could not quite grasp the "season" concept.  I think this will be a daily talk I have to have with him.
5.  Before you get jealous that we had the weekend alone let me assure you that we worked our tails off.  3 trips to get lights because you just never have enough, a couple of trips to Target, Walmart, Walgreens for stuff that you just have to have when you are decorating.  A couple of late nights, and a couple of walls hit when we could just not decorate anymore.  But the looks on their faces were priceless.
6.  Jay and Emory have always had a thing with pigs.  As long as I can remember they laugh whenever someone says the word pig.  It started with a beanie baby pig Jay got as a toddler and Emory was an infant.  So, last year I saw an outdoor Christmas pig and I knew they would think it was hilarious so I got it.  This year we stepped it up and I got a white Christmas tree that is decorated with pig ornaments.  They love it.

 7.  Another surprise was the 24 books that I wrapped.  Each day they get to open a book and we read it.  They love to open presents.  Of course, I am sure that they will fight over whose turn it is. (Note to self: write down who opened the book last.)  Update:  I did not come up with this idea.  I totally copied it from someone in the blogsophere and I don't remember who.  My books were collected over time and finished with a Scholastic book order at school this year.  They are all individual books, not a series.
 8.  I love Christmas to be everywhere so I had Christmas pillows made for Jay and Emory years ago.  I finally had Packy's made and it matches Jay's.
9.  My favorite decorations are on the mantle.  The poster size print of the picture at the top of this post is Packy on his very first Christmas.  We call it "Santa Pac" and it is always on the mantle.  The wreath made of hands hanging from the mantle was made with Jay's sweet baby hands.  (I actually think he made it at 2K right before we quit 2K and did not go back to school until 4K.  A bad pre-school experience is tough on a mom.)
10.  My favorite Christmas things are: buck-eyes, Jason's work party at Natalia's, sparkly shoes (I am not a fancy mom but I can be an extra sparkly mom when I want to be.), candlelight Christmas Eve service at church (my mom cries every year), watching the kids on Christmas morning, and most of all that a Savior was born who would take my sin to the cross with Him so I could live eternally with my Father.
(Aren't they pretty?  I do own them.)

*If you aren't in the Christmas spirit yet watch this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Go to bed early or stay up just so I can get the post up on Tuesday?  Can you believe I actually stayed up?  I love to sleep.
1.  Guess what?  Santa got it done.  I am 95% ready for Christmas as far as the gifts go.  This next week will be so much fun as Tony, my mailman (is that the politically correct term?), and my UPS driver bring me presents all week.  It's a game to see if I can get the present in the Santa hiding spot without anyone seeing me.  I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear the UPS truck coming down the street.  Amazon is really the way to go for me.  I do support the local Learning Express, Father Goose, and William's Store, but I can't get everything at those places and free shipping from Amazon makes me so happy.  I really just love mail in any form.  It started with sleep-away camp......  I am so far off track.
2.Our family has really gotten in to UNO. It started this summer and the kids really like it.  It has yet to end in a fight no matter who wins, which is good for us.  (I recall my childhood games of Sorry! never ended well.  I could not take being the person who was sent back to the start.)  I love family bonding over games.  (Please don't tell Betsy that I actually enjoy the forced board games that she always makes the adults play at Tybee after the little ones are asleep.)
3.  I went to the library today and checked out 7 cookbooks.  I am so sick of everything I cook and I can't buy a bunch of $30 cookbooks.  Writing recipes down at Barnes and Noble feels like stealing so hello library!  What a deal the library is.  If I am ever on a "spending freeze"  I can go check out a bunch of books and still get the feeling of new stuff.  (This is starting to sound like a problem.)  Next week I'll tell you if I found any new and exciting recipes.
4.  I am going to admit that sometimes I-Carly makes me laugh.  OK there, I said it.
5.  Traditions-planned habits with significance  I love that definition.  We talked about traditions in Sunday School this week and how you have them all during the year, not just the holidays.  Traditions provide security and stability, connect us to the past and to each other (thank you Heather Stevenson).  Think about the things you grew up doing as a tradition.  How your family celebrated the holidays throughout the year, birthdays, summer vacation, and on and on.  Now think of daily traditions.  Jason and I get up before the kids to have a quiet time and prayer together.  When I make my coffee, I make Packy's chocolate milk.  He always gets up before we are finished and he loves to get his chocolate milk and get in "the hole" (the space on the couch between Jason and me) and listen to the Bible reading and prayer.  If he comes down too late and we have already finished he says, "I wanna go sit on the coach and read the Bible and pray" in the sweetest Packy voice you can imagine.  To him, our quiet time is a tradition.  A planned habit with significance.
6.  By the way, no one gave me any feedback on their Christmas traditions.  No one.  I know y'all have them.  I guess some people are intimidated of the comment button.  It's really not a big deal but I get it.  No worries.
7.  I don't know if it's because I just can't get into college football since Jason watches Georgia and I went to Auburn (War Eagle for Saturday. I have to say that.), but I have always had an easier time watching the NFL.  It's just more fun to watch and we can both watch the Falcons on an even playing field.  (Did you see Michael Vick Monday night?  Whoa.  I always liked him.)  Sundays are just made for napping and the NFL.
8.  Jay is really in to tether ball right now.  I watched him practice after school the other day.  The funny thing is my grandparents had a tether ball and when I was little I loved it.  Like really loved it.  He is so me.  He had a really good weekend with 2 birthday parties for friends.  Emory goes to parties all of the time so it made him feel good to have some of his own.  At one party they gave Mad Libs for favors.  See that smile above?  That is a laughing at Mad Libs smile.  (He hasn't learned how to make them dirty.....yet.)
9.  Did you know that in the Old Testament the command was to love others as you love yourself but in the New Testament it is to love others as I have loved you (talking about Jesus)?  Do I love others as Christ has loved me?  Sometimes I don't like people.  Just people in general.  I might have to make a sign to remind myself  "As I loved you" and post it somewhere.  I love to remind myself with signs because I forget everything all of the time.  And because I have a laminating machine and a love of fonts, my signs are always cute.
10.  Harry Potter this Friday.  I'm just saying.  No one in my family watches so if you see me alone at the movies I am not being creepy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mommy Guilt

A couple of weeks ago I was sharing in a women's group about Jay's parent/teacher conference and how I was crying afterwards in the hall of the school.  Another mom in the group said, "Why? Do you have bad kids?". Picture me now flying out of my chair cartoon style and  demolishing her, because in my head that is what happened.  But in my real life I took a deep breath and said, "I have a son who struggles but I wouldn't call him a bad kid."

A bad kid?  Are you kidding me?  Who says that to another mom? I was beyond angry.  But as I slowed down and discussed the issue with a trusted friend, I could look at it from another angle.  I could forgive this mom and not have a resentment. I do not believe she meant me any harm and her children are small so maybe she hasn't come across any struggle yet.  But the main thing I learned was that she hit my biggest fear button with a big ole' hammer.  Do I have bad kids?  And if I do then am I a bad mom?

Let's talk about Mommy Guilt.  It's straight from hell.  Is that strong enough for you?  I believe this whole heartedly.  Satan uses MG to try and break us down.  It makes us doubt everything we are doing with our children and if we can even do it all.   We somehow use our role as a mother to measure our performance in life.  I have tried to explain to Jason that since I don't work outside of the home, the home is the only thing I have to get my yearly performance appraisal.  If the people I am in charge of aren't performing well then I must be failing at my job.  Now, I know this is not my head.  Sometimes, in my heart, I see it differently.  So how do we combat this Mommy Guilt?
1.  Recognize it for what it is, an attempt by the devil to use your own children to make you have feelings of unworthiness.  I try to think about how big the God I serve is.  (Isaiah 40:12-18)  Then I try to think about how this God loves me.  Sitting on my computer in Macon, me.  (This is where my brain starts to hurt.)
2.Pray-  I try to thank God that he blessed me with the opportunity and privilege to raise eternal beings.  I ask him for the power that I need to get through each day. He promises to give us strength (Isaiah 40:29).  I pray for my children, especially that they would walk with the Lord at an early age.  I ask for forgiveness when I know I haven't been kind or loving to my children (this prayer is prayed a lot).
3.  Talking about it helps.  Jason can give me a pep talk on mothering even after he has just witnessed me screaming at the top of my lungs at someone.  It happens.  I can only do the best I can do and sometimes I screw up.  I now talk to the kids after a screw up and let them know I am sorry.  It helps for them to see me sorry for my sin. 
4. Remembering that I am a child of God and that so are my children.  They are not grandchildren of God.  He doesn't see them through me.  I have the responsibility to nurture, love, and teach them but ultimately their lives are between them and God.  As one who has struggled for a long time I can only imagine my parents frustration at a child who constantly made the wrong decision.  God uses what he needs for each person and we can't design a path for our kids and expect them to follow it.  My uncle had two sons who took different paths during high-school and college.  He always said, "I take no credit for one, and no blame for the other." 

So Mommy Guilt comes in so many forms that I can't start listing them all. You know the ones that get to you and how they are used to undermine God's plan in your life. Today, trust that Jesus is all you need.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:5

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Last week something happened that no mom wants to happen.  I got the call from the school that went, "Emory's fine but she does have lice."  Oh no!  I knew it was coming because some other girls in her class had already been sent home and we had been warned.  The sad part is that Emory jumps on the bandwagon so fast that I thought she was faking it.  Then I saw one.  Just one but it was enough to totally gross me out. I just thought it would skip us.  Nope.  So we treated everyone (homoeopathically), washed the sheets, and then treated Emory again (this time with the chemicals). I would like to take this opportunity to thank my dad for his diligent work in treating Emory with the chemicals while he was babysitting.  Not every grandad would do that.  My dad is special like that. (See above picture of Packy and the lice comb.)
2.   I am in full Christmas mode.  Last year I wanted the least amount of stress possible so I did minimal decorations (minus the squirrel in the Christmas tree).  The year before that was a rough one.  This year I want it to be extra special.  I want the house lit up with as many lights as I can get.  I want it to smell, look, and feel like Christmas.  I want the kids to know that I am excited.
3.  The downside of this is that I want the shopping part of Christmas done yesterday.  My goal is decorate and have the shopping done before December 1st so that I can float through Christmas baking, reading Christmas books to the kids, looking at lights, and just enjoying life.  The reality is that this has never happened before but it can.  I have to believe that it can.    Planning also helps me spend less.  You know that I do not want any new toys in this house that are going to serve as clutter and not provide fun.  The boys always have interactive toys...they must be able to build some part of it or they don't play with it.  This is the time of year that I really bond with my UPS man.  I always ask him if he brought me any presents.
4.  I babysit myself all the time with the television.  It's always on.  From the time I get up to the time I go to bed and let it put me to sleep.  The past several days I have turned it off.  I have gotten dressed without it.  I have made dinner without it.  Homework with the children has gone much better since they aren't competing with Oprah.  I think I have always been afraid of what was going on in my head so I let the TV fill it with mindlessness.  So, I have concluded that silence is a good thing.  I can be alone with my thoughts.  If they are crazy sometimes so what?  Just because I have a thought does not mean that I am going to act on it.  Meditation has never been a strong point of mine but without the drone of background noise, it's getting easier.  I can talk and listen to God.  Who knew?
5.  I just got the text from my sister.  It's Tuesday.  Whatcha got??   She will let me slide with one week but she's on me by the second one. 
6.  Back to Christmas.  I really like family traditions.  Kids don't remember all of the toys but they remember the special activities.  So what are your favorite traditions?  Either as a child or the ones you are trying to incorporate in to your family now.  Emory asked me the other day if we were going to "do the envelopes" again.  The envelopes were an advent I made by stamping 1-25 on an envelope and each day it would have an activity.  From a candy cane hunt (think Easter egg) to drinking hot chocolate and reading a Christmas book to the walk through Bethlehem in Warner Robins-simple some days-big some days.  The last time we did this was a few years ago but she remembered. So let me know what you do.  I am always looking for ideas!
7.  Just for fun:
*When Packy goes outside on a bright day he sneezes.  Then he says, "That sun sneezed me!"
*Jay brought home a permission slip to be in school play.  He wanted me to sign it and say that he would NOT be in the play.  I told him I only had to sign it if he was going to be in it.  He wanted to be extra sure that no one misunderstood and that somehow he would be in the play. 
*Jason told Jay that we were going to go caroling as a family this year.  He went on to tell him that he was going to play the guitar and that we would go to all of Jay's friends houses and sing for them.  This is the kind of stuff we say to torture this poor child.  His face while Jason was going on and on was priceless.
8.  Emory went to my mom's house on Sunday and made her first doll skirt.  Actually my mom made it but Em hemmed it.  I was impressed and a little jealous. Jason has a some shorts that have not had a button for about two years.  I can sew a button but I have a mental block with those shorts.  The funny thing is that I want a sewing machine for Christmas. Santa?  Are you reading?
9.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed at my life.  How could the Lord restore my life from the pit to what it is now?  It's so good.  It's all because of Him.  His grace abounds.  Thank you Lord!
10.  I have worked on a non Tuesday post for a few weeks now and it never reads right to me.  This Thursday I am going to post it anyway.  I felt like if I wrote that, I would be more likely to do it.  That's not a promise but more of a "I'm going to try really hard'.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

It's Tuesday!
1.  I have come to the conclusion that as long as I have a dog and kids at home, I will never be able to keep anything nice.  My house is one giant playground.  For some reason I have a white comforter.  No one can remember to keep their shoes off of it.  Bogey sleeps any pillow that throws itself off of a couch and makes it smell like dog.  Ugh.  I give up.  Let's just say that if we became one of the increasing robbery statistics in the Ingleside area that the robbers would be sorely disappointed. 
2. I have my mother's hands.  She has her mother's hands.  Sometimes it really freaks me out to look at them because they look EXACTLY like hers.  This is not a bad thing.  Her hands are fine.  It's just strange when you see the DNA in such a strong way. The older I get, the more I become my mom.  I was warned of this but did not believe it.  Again, not a bad thing.  My mom is one tough lady.  (Love you Mom!)
3.  I have not bought processed snacks in about 6 months.  Gushers, fruit roll-ups, Oreos, dipped granola bars, were all part of my WEEKLY grocery store list. I can't do it anymore.  I am actually repulsed by processed foods for the most part now.  See how extreme I can be?  Do my children appreciate my homemade cookies and granola bars every week?  I don't know but I have heard them toss around the word "organic" and tell their friends that I make their cookies.  At least they are aware. And they do eat more healthy snacks now that the other ones are not available.
4.  I love spellcheck.  If only you knew what an awful speller I am.  I have about ten highlighted "thiers" every week.  At least.  (This is due to my cheating in school on spelling tests.  My friend and I actually learned sign language so we could cheat.  It would've been easier to learn the words right?  Oh youth!)
5.  I have been really thankful lately that God has given me ears to hear.  I have been around a lot of people over the last 18 months who have heard exactly the same thing that I have but for some reason it didn't "click" for them.  It was certainly nothing I did.  I have to give the glory to God for opening my ears and eventually my mind.
6.  So, I told my story twice last week to my Sunday School class.  Once in SS and then again at a women's coffee.  I asked the pastor's wife if she wanted me to edit it for this group and her answer was "Nope.  Jesus didn't come to Earth to save the healthy people."  So I gave the unedited version to my new church family of women.  Just put it all out there.  People appreciate honesty. The thing about it is, I now feel like I am cheating God out of his glory if I am unwilling to share what he has done for me.  He gave me my life back and I am so excited to tell anyone who will listen about the grace he poured out on me. 
7.  Along those same lines.  I love when people tell me that they read this and how "real" I am.  A switch has flipped and I really don't know how to not be real anymore.  When you hid for so long and then experience the freedom in honesty it is really hard to go back.  If you ask me how I am, you might get more than you bargained for.  So if you really don't care how I am, don't ask.  I am over fake.
8.  The Riverdale Arts Festival was lots of fun this year.  I love how I can walk one street over and hear good music and see really good art.  My uncle had a booth of his pottery this year and I got to hang out with him and my aunt. They have always been so much fun.  Packy and Emory bought quite a few pieces.  I love that they each have some local "family" art in their rooms.  It was such a beautiful day!
9.  Jay and Jason went on the Cub Scout camp out for the second year in a row.  Jay really has a good time at this event.  He can be wild and run with other boys.  He doesn't have to be "on" for anyone.  This is when Jason gets to see the real Jay.  (I get glimpses every now and then.)  I think he tries so hard at school to stay in check that by the time I pick him up he is spent.  Add a pesty brother and sister to the mix and throw in some homework and there you have my afternoon.  I am so thankful that Jay likes Cub Scouts and that it is something he can do to bond with his Dad.  One on one time with him is so rare but so special when you see that true soul shine through.
10.  I have the Fall Festival and teacher conferences today.  Pray for me.  Thank you Hunter Stevenson for reminding me that God promises to give me exactly what I need for today!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Tonight was a nice night.  Emory decided that she wanted us to eat dinner outside so she put up a table and got everything ready.  My first reaction (in my head) was Ugh! but she was very excited so I let her run with it. She set the table and made it very special by adding a candle. (Reminder to self: Encourage Emory to use her homemaking talents.  She loves to entertain and sometimes I squash her creativity for my convenience.)   Sometimes just doing something different puts everyone in a good mood.  We played the "make a sentence" game where you go around the table and everyone adds one word.  Packy did not grasp the concept and would add phrases like "the banana sat on the tree" or "trees are mean".
2.  A friend asked me how it was going with Jay.  I told her we were still having trouble but looking for some help from the school and elsewhere.  She responded, "When I ask you about Jay, I don't think that one day you are going to say he's fine and that you fixed him."  Whoa.  That put it all in perspective.  It's a journey.  It isn't a one day, one week, or even one year deal, but a journey. 
3.  I don't want to give you the impression that Jay is not enjoyable.  He is.  He has moments of extreme kindness and is very affectionate.  He is funny and smart.  He loves to draw and is very good at it. (I recently bought him a sketch pad and he carries it around everywhere.) He is also really good with Lego's.  I do love my biggest boy...sometimes I just need God to remind me.  I think it's OK to admit that you have a kid that's hard to love.  It doesn't mean you don't, it just doesn't come easy.
4.  I cook.  Jason cleans and I get the kids ready for bed.  The other night I happened to be downstairs when he was about to turn on the dishwasher.  I watched him as he spit in the dishwasher before he closed it.  Excuse me?  He said he does this often.  Why?  He said it was because he can.  Really?  Our house is a weird place to live.
5.  I am late today because I went on the Pumpkin Patch field trip.  Somehow I have tricked myself into thinking that because I stay home that I should drive for every single field trip.  I am rethinking this thinking.  First of all, my children act clingy and different when I am with them on trips.  They don't hang with their friends but instead try to get as close to me as they can.  Second, I am just too tired to go on another field trip.  I think I have been on four this year including the all day Macon trip.  So I am going to learn to say no.  I used to be good at saying no but that was because I did not want do anything.  Balance.  I need balance.
6.  I have 18 months today.  Jason remembered and sent me a text congratulating me.  Love that man!
7.  After the field trip today, I went to help Jay's class with their recycling scarecrow.  Each class has a garden and they are working on making a scarecrow out of recycling "trash".  It was really fun.  The kids were so creative.  Now after two hours I was over it but for the first two hours it was fun. (I was in charge of the head.)
8.  I finally called a bug man.  You would not even believe how many bodies I found the next day.  I can't tell you because you would be totally grossed out.  I am totally grossed out but oh so happy that they are dead.  Live ones crawling on the wall were making my house a living Fright Night.  Again...Halloween gives me the creeps.  (Don't ever leave your TV on Halloween night when you go to bed.)
9.  Betsy called me with the "morning struggles".  Getting people dressed, fed, and to school on time is always a challenge.  I have not perfected the morning by any means but I do try to think "What could I do tonight that would make tomorrow easier?" It helps.  Sometimes I am too tired and don't care but when I take the time to take a couple of steps it makes the morning so much easier.
10.  Emory is a really good hooper.  She can hoop for a long time with mine and mine is really big.  She said she would do it in the talent show next year but only if I did it with her.  Hmmmmm.  Could be interesting.  I'll keep you posted. 
(It drive me INSANE when I can't make the blog do what I want but it is not worth my sanity to try and fix it right now.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. There has been a lot going on in the birdhouse these past couple of weeks. 
2.  This is my verse for right now (thank you Hunter Stevenson):
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13
I love holding hands.  I always have.  With my Dad.  With Jason.  (Not really so much with my friends.  Or my sister.  Really just not girls.  But anyway....)  I love the thought of God taking my hand because He knows I need help.  I have really needed his help recently to stay above water.  And he has provided exactly what I needed.
3.  My mom went to the hospital a week ago with chest pain.  She has an 80% blockage in an artery and they could not put in a stint.  My mom?  I expect my dad to have heart problems because all of the men in his family do, but my mom?  Nope.  Not prepared.  Also, not prepared to see her deal with it.  My mom is a very strong woman and seeing her in pain and scared is a new place for me.  I am blessed that she knows the same God that I do and He is taking her hand right now and telling her "Do not fear.  I will help you." Nothing comes in to our lives that catches God by surprise. Nothing.
4.  Jason and I went back to my treatment center for a "Homecoming" couple of days.  It is a ton of fun because I have a group of girls that I lived with that are all still sober.  It makes me so happy to see these girls and how amazing their lives are now.  It's like seeing a before and after picture that makes you say "Wow".  Jason and I felt more like a resource than the people asking all of the questions this time.  It's all about giving back. 
5.  The sad part about going back is hearing the stories of people who didn't make it.  Overdose, suicide, jail, are common when asking the "What about Joe/Sally" question.  One boy that I knew and saw a couple of times this summer robbed a bank.  Actually, two banks.  Good looking, 26 year old boy sitting in jail for armed robbery.  ( I never thought I would know an actual bank robber!) It makes me very sad.  It also makes me thankful for the people who have found a better way to live, including myself.
6.  Still struggling with Jay.  It's very hard to have a child that appears to find the negative in most situations.  He is emotionally all over the place.  Very mad to very sad.  Let's just say he was mad that I made a cake.  Who gets mad at cake?  The good news is I am trying some new resources and working with his school on some action plans.  Once again trusting that he is God's child and he is using him to teach me.  But it is a really hard lesson. 
7.  Did you know they have Jesus Calling for kids?  I am totally ordering this today.  Our bookstore does not have it so don't even bother driving out there.
8.  The other stuff I am dealing with?  Leaky roof, an army of roaches marching outside my door and sending in thier finest whenever they get the chance, broken air conditioning upstairs (and it's still hot in Macon), broken cell phone (and I don't have a home phone) and Jay broke the window of my sliding mini van door.  How?  He had a rope with a pouch tied to the end of it and he was throwing it over my car.  So far so good.  Except he put a steel ball in the pouch.  (Did you ever play Shoot the Moon?  It was the ball from that.  Solid steel.)  That's all just stuff.  Irritating, but I can deal.  I am doing a lot of hooping for sanity.
9.  Ready for the good stuff? I have been taking pictures.  Still love love love my gym.  Loving this pseudo fall weather.  Happy I got to hold my new niece, Lauren.  Excited that Hattie and Josie will have a new baby sister in February.  (I knew it was a girl!)
10.  Most of all, thankful for the women in my life.  So much wisdom.  So much love.  Thank you for helping me grow!
He does not stop talking.  Ever.  But I just kiss him while that motor mouth is still running.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

How handsome is my NYPD little man?

1.  I don't believe God allows you to go through something without a reason.  Yesterday I had a chance to tell "my story" to a group of people.  Speaking in front of people is not something I like but I knew I wouldn't die so I did it.  How could I not tell the story that God wrote for me?  Everyone has a story.  God has used something in your life to either bring you closer to Him or to drop you to your knees so that you realize all you have left is Him.  And he is everything.  So do you look for ways to share your story with people?  My sister asked me if I talked about God when I told my story.  "He is my story" was my response.
2.  After my talk I had an afternoon where I had to preach to myself.  Do you know that you preach to yourself all the time?  Mine came in the form of self doubt.  Did I say the right thing? I shouldn't have said that.  Did it make sense?  In order to combat these thoughts I had to preach the truth to myself.  God allowed me to use the words he wanted me to use.  I have no power over what I said. I am just an instrument that He can use to get the message of hope that He provides out to people.  He opens the hearts of the people who were listening.  Not me. 
3. It's almost October and that means scary movies are coming out.  I hate scary movies.  I have nightmares from just watching commercials.
4.  After many Member/Guest golf tournaments I have put together a wife survival guide.
The basics are it's expensive and he will be gone. OK, now the specifics.  First, just know that your man will be gone from Thursday at lunch to Saturday late afternoon.  This means the entire time.  Don't count on him to be at home for breakfast or to get the kids ready for school because he will be at the club eating breakfast by 7:30.  As long as you know you aren't going to see him you can hunker down into survival mode.  I like to get Redbox movies for each kid in my house.  A craft is always helpful.  This year I had a man give me come giant cardboard boxes.  I put them in the garage and let them do whatever they wanted to.  They colored them, made doors and windows, put "stuff" from their rooms in them and had a ball. The key is to be prepared.  On the last day is something called a Shoot Out.  This means that just because the tournament is over, your man in not coming home.  He won't be home until the tournament is over for everyone.  Now, if he plays well he might tell you he won.  Don't get excited because most of the time this can be translated into proshop credit.  And believe me, there is nothing you want in that shop.  He might win some money but the tournament costs so much that you just give it back to your club.  The best thing you can do is pretend he is going to be out of town so you don't really expect him to be around and encourage him to kick some butt. Bragging rights are everything. 
5.  Packy is going to Bible Study Fellowship with me.  It's so cool because he learns the same thing I do on a 3 year old level.  My favorite part is that they sing hymns.  His little voice singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the sweetest.
6. Jay quit baseball.  We let him.  This is why and how.  Saturday he had a practice.  Saturday night the coach called.  I did not answer it, of course, because I knew it was the coach.  I let Jason call him back because I can't really process Jay news without becoming a puddle on the floor.  The coach told him Jay had tears in his eyes and when he asked him what was the matter Jay told him he hated baseball and that his parents were making him play.  I think there was some teasing involved from other teammates.  Puddle.  So Jason talks to Jay and gives him two options; 1.  Finish the season.  2.  Call the coach and tell him you don't want to play.  He told him to take a day to pray about it and let him know the next night after dinner.  He decided to call the coach.  Himself.  He thanked him for being his coach (he was a very encouraging coach) and explained that he did not enjoy playing baseball.   I am so proud of him.  And his Dad.  Jason taught him that quitting was not acceptable in most situations but there is always room to regroup when parents make a mistake. 
7.  I am no longer going to force Jay to do something I think he will like.  If he wants to do something, great.  No more forcing.  What I want Jay to know is that he is loved by his family and God.  He doesn't need a trophy or an external achievement to make him happy.  (Remind me to remind this to myself.)
8.  I am officially sick of everything I cook.  If you have a fun website with good, healthy food, please let me know.
9.  I was going to write about parenting regrouping but when I went on The Flourishing Mother today, I found everything I wanted to say in her post, Beginning Again.  Thank you Andrea for your beautiful words.
10.  Tommorow is Jason's birthday.  We have now been together longer than we have been apart.  He is such an amazing man.  Amazing husband.  Amazing dad.  He is patient.  He is kind. He has always made me laugh and always made me feel safe.  Although he has very dry skin, I love him more than I knew I could love.  Happy Birthday Jason!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

I know. I know. 
1.  I know I didn't do it on Tuesday but I had an unexpected root canal.  I went to the dentist at 11am for a crown and was given the news I did not want to hear..."You need a root canal.  I am going to get you in right now since you are already numb."  I guess that's better than sitting around worrying about it.  It still stunk.  That is not really the word I would choose but I refuse to type any word stronger than that.  So, I had a root canal and I survived.
2.  Do you the difference between women doctors and men doctor's waiting rooms?  Women doctors have magazines that are not only the right year but the right month.  I was in magazine heaven yesterday.  For four hours I read every single October issue that is currently available.  Thank you Dr. Lawson and Dr. Lee! 
3.  So we went to Tybee last weekend with some friends and a bunch or our kids.  It was a nice getaway.  Jay finally had some boys to play with.  The people we took had 2 boys and then we picked up 2 local boys that spent a lot of time with us.  Do you know what they had the most fun doing?  Playing on these big plastic tubes that the city was about to use for some kind of road project.  Jay actually said he didn't want to go to the beach because he didn't want to leave the tubes.
4.  Tybee is kind of stuck in a time warp.  I let my kids ride their bikes in the street and play outside without having to keep my eye directly on them.  Such a nice change of pace.  My neighborhood has become thuggy with a lot of home invasions and I never let my people in the front yard without an adult watching.  The crime in Tybee consists of drunks stealing your bikes.
5. This is Emory's writing portfolio at school:

6.  Self control is an issue for my children.  It has always been an issue of mine so I really shouldn't be surprised.  That doesn't mean it makes being a mom any easier.
7.  Along those same house and car are a big mess.  Someone once told me that the condition of your car is a reflection of your life.  Ugh.  I am going to choose not to believe that.  My car is a mess.  My life is messy but not a mess.
8.  Between Flat Stanley, neighborhood map, fall baseball, Wed. night church, BSF, and all of the other activites going on I feel like I am behind the eight ball.  I have given up hope of "catching up".  One step at a time. 
9.  Parenting children is more exhasting than taking care of a baby and not sleeping.  Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama. Mama.  This is my daily life. 
10.  Do you ever ignore the child who doesn't give you trouble because you spend so much time discplining the one that does?  I am trying to enjoy each of my children for thier unique personalities but sometimes I wonder if I even know what's going on.  Finding the balance to love each child with thier love language is hard.  I want to have a close relationship with each of them but when I reflect on the day I so often fail.  Thank you God for new mercies each day.

(See Jay at the top?  He's happy and kinda smiling.  Yes I will type kinda but not bad words.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Get ready.  It's gonna be a long one.
1.  I danced.  I went to see the Avett Brothers at Chastain park Friday night.  Just Jason and me.  I have been to two other concerts since I have been sober but this is the first one that I really felt normal.  The first one was a test run so I was nervous the whole time and the second was a Metallica cover band and that was just for Jason.  This time was awesome.  I loved the music and danced the entire time.  Fully absorbed in the music (in a good way) and letting my body do what it wanted to do.  I had the best time and did not look around and want anything that was not good for me.  Chastain is amazing and it was a beautiful night to be under the stars.  Thank you Avett Brothers!
2.  So the next morning, September 11th, I flew to New York to go to the U.S. Open with my sister.  Flying on September 11th was a little strange but probably the safest day to go to New York.  The Open was amazing even though the match we saw was one hour and 5 minutes long.  Just being in Ashe stadium, 5 rows behind the baseline, and watching those girls hit the ball so hard was an experience.
3.  So guess who else came to the Open with us?  Andrea from The Flourishing Mother.  I had only met Andrea one time, 8 years ago, when Betsy and Lee got married.  It was so fun to see her in "real life" and get to hang out while riding back and forth to the match.  (Thanks for the ride Spencer!)  She is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside and I felt like we hang out together all the time.  So comfortable. 
4.  The next day we went to church and then Betsy had a drop in brunch so I could meet some of her city friends.  Once again I felt like I knew these women and their sweet children.  Between blogs, Facebook, and my sister telling me about them I feel like I have a real relationship with them even if it is by proxy.  They were all as amazing in real life as I thought they would be. And the kids...they are the cutest bunch of city dwellers.  I tried to keep a couple of them.
5.  The most special moment of this brunch was the prayer circle that Betsy requested at the end.  These women were there to support Betsy when I was gone.  They were also part of the body of Christ that prayed for me when I could not pray for myself.  When I didn't want to pray for myself.  They trusted and believed when I was hopeless and they lifted me up.  What an honor to be able to stand, hand in hand, and thank these women who I had never laid eyes on for the prayers they offered up in my behalf and the love they gave my sweet sister.  And even more amazing was to thank God for the life that I have now, only because of his grace.
6.  Last week I had a lots of "Mommy guilt" concerning Jay, of course.  I second guess everything I do with him and constantly wonder if I am screwing him up.  I then have to remind myself that God is in control of Jay and his life, not me.  A friend advised me on this particular day to find a verse to cling to so I wanted to share it.
Dear friends, now we are children of God,
and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2
This helped me to refocus on what's important to me about Jay's life.  Is it that he is a great baseball player, or makes good grades, or has a lot of friends?  No.  It's that he love the Lord with all of his heart, soul, and mind.  So the when the verse says "what we will be has not yet been made known" it gave me comfort.  I don't know the life God has planned for Jay, but I know he has one. 
7.  I am also thankful for Jason who can bring me back down to Earth.  I am extreme.  Dramatic and extreme when it comes to my kids.  At a practice game last week I was feeling like I made Jay play and that he was going to resent me.  I looked at Jason and asked him, "Are we ruining his life?"  He looked at me and said, "Are you serious?"  I was.  I was dead serious.  This of course goes back to not trusting God.  Jason talked me back down to reality.  Jay had a good time playing the game and even though he didn't get a hit, he didn't care.  My mind is a scary place to be.
8.  My new church is exciting.  I have never been a part of  a new church but I love the energy that everyone is bringing.  The Lord is working in north Macon and I can feel it. 
9.  Here is another change in my life.  Praying for someone and not judging them.  It takes practice and I often fail but with my life experiences I have learned you can't know what's really going on inside of a person.  How can I judge?  A person can present themselves any way they want but the struggles inside are often kept private.  So when I am tempted to make a harsh judgement I try to stop and pray for that person.  It really makes difficult friendships easier.  It's hard to hate people you are lifting up to God.
10.  I love New York city.  Betsy and I had the best time cruising around the city in her car.  Avoiding crazy taxi cab drivers and circling for 30 minutes to find a parking space.  The weather was perfect.  (Remember what a gorgeous day September 11th was?)  I love Hattie and Josie so much.  Seeing them in their city jumping in cabs, riding a scooter to the grocery store, and how that is their normal is fun.  They are the sweetest girls and 2 days was not long enough!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Compost Update

Update on Birdhouse Compost Pile.
I recently started letting the children help me with the compost pile.  This meant that they took the food to the container, dumped it, and put the top on.  Not too hard right?  So, today I went and checked on it.  The top was not put back on tightly.  No big deal right? Wrong.  It rained so water poured into the container so now I have soupy compost.  Gross.  Want more?  I started to turn the compost like I learned in my class and guess what started to pour out?  Roaches.  I have a big green box of roach soup in my backyard.  I am dying.  It is my worst nightmare.  I think I have given up on this project.  I did email my "teacher" and this was the response:

I just checked on my compost pile. My son did not close the lid and so it got water in it and it is now a big compost soup. That is fine but the roaches are not. Giant roaches started spilling out as soon as I opened it. Is this normal? It is totally grossing me out. I can do bugs but roaches don't count. Help! Do I pour the water out? It stinks, obviously. Thanks for your help.
payton churchwell

Hi Payton,
As far as the water goes, pour out as much as you can (can be used to water plants) and then let it open for a few days to dry up a little in this heat. As for the roaches, sorry, no way to avoid them, but the more you mix up your compost the less likely they will set up camp in your container.
Good luck!

Good luck is right because I'm out.  Done.  Later.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

It may be late but it is still Tuesday.

1.  I missed my 5k race on Monday because I finally got the bug that passed around my entire family.  I got it Sunday and was determined to be well when I woke up on Monday morning.  I got up early, ate my toast, put on my running clothes, and did a test run up the road.  It wasn't going to happen.  Sweaty legs when you are not really hot is not the ideal condition for running.  I refused to take off my shoes until the race actually started and I could admit I was not going.  Then  I got in bed and slept until lunch.  I was very disappointed.
2.  Sometimes I just need a good YouTube video to make me laugh out loud.  It helps. This one helped today.  Thanks Betsy. Auto tune rocks.
3.  Due to my bug, I also missed my first attempt at having some "non" family people come over and eat (even though they are as close to family as they could be without blood).  I planned a Sunday lunch.  I cooked on Saturday and had a big spread all ready.  I cleaned the house and even set the table...with place mats....and cloth napkins with napkin rings.  Napkin rings.  Do you hear me?  This was big for me.  I hated sending that early morning text asking for a rain check. 
4.  I have camera block.  I need to just pick up my camera and take pictures of whatever we are doing.  Life documentation.  It doesn't have to be perfect.
5.  We started Fall Ball.  This is baseball in the fall.  Jay moved up to a new league and once again I have mommy anxiety.  He doesn't love it.  Am I making him do something just to satisfy some urge I have?  I want him to just be him but then I don't seem to be comfortable with who that is.  Being a mom to kids is hard.  Give me a baby any day.  Feed it, change it, love it.  I can do babies.  Kids are what make my heart hurt.  It's hard to give them what's best when you aren't really sure what that is.  Prayer.  Lots of prayer.
6.  Why do the things I am really excited about doing in the morning become a chore by the evening?  I want to read long chapter books to the kids but by bedtime I am out of steam.  I can barely get through one of Packy's books.
7.  When I was sick, Packy came and got in the bed with me.  He is the sweetest little snuggler.  Then he fell asleep and peed all over the bed. 
8.  I have journaled that I would like to try to not eat sweets for 5 days or use the computer for 5 days.  Not the same week.  I don't think I can do either one.  Just the thought makes me want to eat some cake mix.
9.  I am very happy Danielle will not be on another season of Real Housewives of NJ.  She is too crazy.  I also am happy that The Situation and Audrina are going to be on Dancing with the Stars.  I might even watch this season.  Those are the celebrities I like.  D list all the way.
10.  My bed is calling me.  I could live in that thing.  I can actually handle being sick a couple of days because I love my bed so much.  That might be sad but I really don't care.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I have a $2 bill that I keep in my wallet.  My grandfather gave it to me and he died when I was 8 so I have had it a very long time.  Every time I get a new wallet it goes in the zippered pocket.  Many times in college I came close to spending it on....well, you know, but I didn't.  My kids think it is so cool and I love to look at it and remember my Papa Cable who I loved so much.
2.  Saturday I ran my first 5k.  I did not train and I am not a runner, but because of my Cross Fit training I was able to finish in 29:02.  I feel better now at 36 than I ever did in my 20s.  I always thought taking care of your mind, body, and soul was so new age and hokey.  It's amazing how I feel now that I am actually taking care of all three!
3.  The race went right by my house so I had a cheering section as I went by.  How fun to hear "Go Mama Go" from the cutest bunch of kids. 
4.  This article is really helping me.  It was posted by my friend Andrea who has an amazing blog that you can read here.  I am really trying to be intentional in what I buy and bring in to my house.  Do I really need this item or do I just want it to make me feel better?  Just because it's on sale does that actually make it a wise purchase?  This theory was really tested this weekend because I had a 30% off everything coupon to Old Navy.  I should buy stuff because it's cheap right?  I walked away from the Navy without anything because I didn't need anything.
5.  Along the same lines I am trying to teach my children about wise purchases.  I put a lot of thought into Christmas.  I don't want a room full of plastic that is so fun to open and then put on the shelf and never  played with again.  I would rather spend a little more money on a quality gift that I know they are going to use than a bunch of "filler" presents to put under the tree.  Teaching them to save their money to buy something they actually want instead of buying a bunch of junk at the Dollar Store (that will break before the sun sets) is another lesson that they are starting to learn. 
6.  We are jumping right into our new church, North Macon Presbyterian.  It's totally out of my comfort zone to be the new person but it's is totally what I feel like God is calling our family to do.  I have a post coming about how this came about.  Keep in mind I have never gone to another church.  Ever.  Since I was 3.
7.  I felt fall this morning.  Did you feel it?  Football is coming.  Go Falcons.
8.  I don't not understand how children win the Zero Absences award at school.  Mine have both missed a day each.  You puke, you don't go to school.  How can you go an entire school year without getting sick once....or are these the kids who come to school and get everyone else sick? (The picture above is the first day of school.)
9.  My house is always messy.  No matter how hard I try, the people who live in my house get their stuff everywhere (not Jason).  I have a goal this fall of having people over for dinner.  So how do these two things work out?  Should it matter?  Now before you start thinking "Of course it doesn't matter"  just ask how you really want your house to look when people come over. And on a side note..dinner party with or without kids?
10.  Thanks for hanging with me through last week's 10.  I actually went to church right after I posted that and heard an awesome lesson that turned my bad attitude right around.  Isn't it cool when you hear exactly what you need to hear?  God is always in the details.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Late.  Again.
1.  After school is my witching hour.  I haven't seen Jay and Emory all day and yet I can be upset with them before we even get home.  "Why did you make us bring our lunch today?  It was bacon cheeseburger day and that's my favorite."  "Why can't we go to Dairy Queen?"  And then homework time.  It can be gruelling.  I have tried to plan my meals so I cook in the morning and can totally be available after school for homework.  I don't know if they have just been trying so hard to be "good" at school that they have nothing left when they get home but the attitudes I get are hard to take.  Draining. 
2.  Confession.  I spend too much time on the computer. 
3. Today has been a hard day. 
4.  I am reading a marriage book called Love and War.  It is really good.  They reminded me that marriage is two sinners living together.  Trying to glorify God in everything, while living in an imperfect world. God uses marriage to shape us. No one is perfect. 
5.  We are starting our new church next week. 
6.  Composting and recycling were hard to manage until I figured out that the tiny people that live in my house are fully capable of doing this chore. 
7.  It's hard to do this list when I am not in a good mood.
8.  Add to my list of de-stressers-  hula hooping (pencil sharpening is my other one).  These are my hoops. I made them.  They make me happy.

9.  Today I am really missing beach life.  It's so slow at the beach.  I am trying to live slowly in a fast world and it's not easy. 
10.  I'll try to do better next week.  This 10 bites.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ten on Tuesday (on Wednesday)

1.  I am sad today.  Betsy and the girls are leaving.  It has been such a fun summer and I love having Betsy around.  She makes me laugh and helps me process my crazy life.
2.  I am really going to miss Josie.  She really loves me, my car, and my house.  Last summer she was still a Mama's girl but this summer she has been Aunt Paydon's girl.  There is no other feeling like coming in to a house and a sweet 2 year old running from the other room and jumping in to your arms. 
3.  We were talking at dinner last night about how this time of year is like New Year's.  We really run by a school calendar year and it's a brand new year.  This year I am going to be more organized, involved, on top of things.  Heard that before?
4.  There is a wave of divorce right now in Macon with people my age.  It makes me very sad and especially considering all of the small children involved.  I don't know any of the details and make no judgements but I do know marriage is hard.  I have seen some marriages that have been to hell and back and stuck it out.  The difference is that these people committed their marriage to God and when it got hard, like for real, hard core hard, they got on their knees.  And they worked.  Marriage is work.  Seasons of really hard, super hard, work.  But God can repair all of the brokenness if you let Him.  After the work is the sweetness. Don't give up!
5. I am not a fancy mom.  This used to bother me and sometimes I would buy outfits that made me look like a fancy mom and I would feel uncomfortable.  In my "new life" I have become comfortable with me.  Not me trying to be somebody else.  There is such freedom in this.  So when I go to visit my children at school, I am just me, flip flops and all.
6.  Jason got an iPhone.  I don't know who is more excited. Me?  The kids?  Him?  Let's just say that we are all really excited.
7.  School is so far so good.  Emory loves everything.  Jay doesn't hate everything and that is good.  Boys don't give details about their day so it's hard to tell, but I think Jay is having a good start.
8.  One thing that I am really good at it is putting stuff in to my shopping cart and then talking myself out of it by the time I get to the register.  This can be online or brick and mortar stores.  I have to have it at the back of the store but then I realize what a waste of money it is.  I am really trying to watch what I bring in to the house.  I hate junk and we have so much junk.  I could take a bag to Goodwill daily.
9.  I will have 2 new nieces/nephews in the next six months (my s.i.l. Amanda and Betsy).  I love babies and can not wait to get my nose on some baby breath! And take some baby pictures. 
10.  Very content.  Very happy.  Right where I am right now.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I used to think I didn't fear anything.  Anxiety? Yes.  Fear? No.  Now I know that I was wrong.  I fear a lot of things.  I fear death.  Jason, my kids, my parents.  Anyone close to me.  I don't fear dying because I rest in the assurance of my Saviour, but I fear my kids living without me.  I also fear getting old, crazy people that I see on TV, and other random things.  But the thing I have the most fear about is Jay.  I fear that people won't give him a chance to see the real Jay and that they will write him off.  Teachers, friends, parents.  I just want to tell them that he might act crazy and silly but he has a kind heart and he will show it to you if you give him some time.  Last year I knew his teacher from church.  I loved her before he had her but so much more after.  She loved him.  Did she discipline him when he needed it? Yes.  But she still loved him through his mistakes.  I don't know his teacher this year so I fear that she won't get him. Will she be able to love him good and bad?  His teacher from last year talked to his new teacher before school started.  She told me that she told her that he is a great kid and he will be a great student.  He just needs to trust you and know that you will still love him if he messes up.  Of course I cried.  So today as the fear creeps up I have stayed in prayer for Jay.  Thanking God for him and praying for this year.  Praying that his teacher will love him.  But most of all thanking God that He loves me good and bad.  That he loves me even when I mess up.  That I can trust Him.  I am so glad I serve and love a God that loves me through my mistakes and even uses them to make me more like His son.  No fear that I can screw up so bad that His love will go away.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Packy jumped off the diving board and swam to the side yesterday.   I am so proud of my little swimmer!  It is so interesting to watch the different personalities of my children.  Jay was, and is, hard to teach. He has a fear of failure.  Packy just does it.  No fear.
2.  I am ready for school to start.  Longing for a routine.  Ready to clean the house in the morning and have it still clean until the late afternoon.
3.  My mom sent my kids back to school balloon bouquets.  The kids were so excited.
4.  I was really grumpy on Sunday.  I think I had been gone for so long I had forgotten how to relate to people.  Everyone was getting on my nerves.  I was very "me" focused.  I did some reading Sunday and realized how selfish I was.  Monday morning I started over with an attitude of service..."What can I do for someone else?"  By Monday night I felt much better.  Amazing how getting out of myself can make be a happier person.
5.  Packy has started drawing.  He drew his first person with the circle head and the legs coming out of the head.  Isn't it interesting that they all draw this way first?
6.  My cousin, who is about to go to college, took Jay and Emory to Henry Burns park for the morning.  They went to explore the creek.  I used to do this with Hope when I was their age.  It's fun for your children to grow up in the same place you did.
7.  We went bowling Saturday morning at 9am.  Guess who is at the bowling alley this early?  No one!  It was great.  Bowling is the only sport that I can actually compete with Jason.  I won.  Twice.  It felt good.  The kids had fun and no one pouted for a couple of hours.
8.  I gave Jay a spool of string the other day.  He and Packy made a giant spiderweb in their room.  It was really cool.  I let them keep it up for a couple of days.  It was really hard to clean up when I had to do it on my hands and knees.
9.  What happens when your aunt digs a giant hole in the sand and you are so little that you can fit in it and then you get stuck?  And then your mom tries to pull you out?  This is what happens....
10.  My children are screaming.  As loud as they can.  It is so time for school to start.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What I want my people to remember.

I had such a good time this year at Tybee.  I actually read a book.  The book was by Anne Rivers Siddons and her books are always set by water and involve people who have known each other their entire lives.  The plot usually involves the same people doing the same summer retreat over the course of a lifetime.  As I reflected about Tybee it started to read like a book.  Every year we go for the better part of July.  My sister brings her babies from NYC.  The menfolk come on the weekends and usually one full week.  Hope and her family come some too. 
So this is how I want my kids to read the book of their summers.  Or, what I want my people to remember.
1.  Riding waves.  I have always loved how free I feel when I am riding waves and I still do.  It's so fun to ride a good one in right beside Emory and give the hang ten sign when we make it all the way to the shore.
2.  Making drip castles.  Conventional castles are too difficult for Tybee sand but we can really rock the drip castles.  Also very therapeutic.
3.  Outside showers.  My mom has an outside shower and you are required to use it after the beach.  I love it.  Emory and Hattie go together.  Packy and I go together and sometimes we bring Josie.  I don't know why but it is fun to shower outside.  This year I took a nighttime shower.  It was a little spooky but there was a thunderstorm in the distance and the lightening was really cool to watch.
4.  Hide and seek.  I take this game very seriously.  My hiding spot is not going to be a closet that you open the door and see me.  This year I hid in the utility closet that backed up to the stairs and I went all the way back to the stairs.  It was dark and I know there were some roaches waiting for me but I waited it out.  Jay loves my good hiding.
5.  Walking to the ice cream shop.  Every trip to Tybee includes a couple of walks to Tybee Sweets.  The walk up there is usually at dusk and everyone is sticky on the walk back.  The gelato is delicious. 
6.  Bike riding.  We are experts at packing it on a bike and getting to the beach.  I hope the kids remember riding all over the island.  I love that Tybee is small enough that you can ride anywhere.  It makes going to the grocery store an adventure if you are biking.

7. Special Chu's trips.  Chu's is a store that has a little bit of everything.  Every child gets a special trip to Chu's with either a dad, uncle, grandmother, or grandad during their trip.  They usually buy a plastic toy that doesn't make it very long but the trip to Chu's makes it special.
8.  Fishing on the back river.  Pole, throwing doesn't matter.  This is mainly a Jay and Packy activity with a dad or papa.  Sometimes you catch a fish, or a crab, or a sting ray.  It doesn't matter.  Catching something is catching something.  Same excitement.
9.  Sharks teeth.  The kids have not been successful at this adventure yet.  But they have Cable blood in them and I am confident they will find them  They will for sure remember the adults looking for them and the thrill we get when we find them.
10.  Parents laughing and loving each other.  We have such a good time together laughing, having game night, cooking good food, and acting like kids a lot of the time.  This year Jason and I tried to have some "us" time as well.  One night we went on a bike ride after dark to the beach and swam in the ocean.  I did not go out very far because it was scary. Then we sat in the lifeguard stand and talked while we watched people walking on the edge of the ocean.  Just us.  We told the kids what we did the next morning.  I want my kids to know that we love each other and I think they do.

So that is my Anne Rivers Siddons novel.  All of us at the beach every year.  The same friends and family.  Sometimes new people, but the core group is always there. Doing the same things.  Making new memories each time.  Life is good at Tybee.