Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I have hit the third week wall. Hard.  Everything I try to teach my children about self-control, using kind words, and being gentle, has been thrown out the window.  It's so hard to teach your children not to yell at each other as you are screaming at them.  I miss my house.  I miss my Kroger.  I miss my church. I miss my gym. I miss the little room.  I miss my friends.  Most of all, I miss Jason.  I hate to complain at the beach, but I am a routine girl and I miss my routine.  Too much ice cream makes your stomach hurt right?  (Please don't tell Ann Voskamp that I am whining.  I will get on my 1000 things as soon as I can.) 
2.  So, sometimes I have situational depression.  I think everyone does at times.  I thought at one point I suffered from clinical depression but my addiction doctor told me I don't.  He said, "Payton, if you will quit doing things that make you depressed, then you won't be depressed."  Easy right?  But I can get depressed quickly over my parenting screw ups (and other overwhelming life situations).  The guilt after screaming at a child comes fast and hard.  I go immediately into fast forward and start thinking that I have, once again, wounded the spirit of my children.  This guilt is one of Satan's biggest tools with me.  He knows how I hate to feel it and how I can turn it into self-pity so fast.  It makes me feel like I am stuck in the mud.  In a holding pattern, not moving.  I usually lie in the bed and try to take a rest, but no rest comes. This is when I start shutting down emotionally. Throw in a really tight, heavy chest and that's how my body reacts to stress and guilt.  I am getting better at catching this lie and squashing it before it gets to the bed stage but this week I wallowed in it for a while. 
3.  Just so you don't think I am a big 'ole complainer, these are the things I am supper happy about.  Getting to sleep with Packy.  He is the best snuggler. He has been sleeping with Mimi (but she ran away, back to Macon for a few days, to have a vacation from her vacation, lucky her) (ran away may be too strong...took a break from the crazies would be more accurate) so I got to sleep with my baby.  Back to my happy list.  I love seeing Lolly first thing in the morning.  She is such a happy baby and always has a big smile on her face.  She also has eyes that smile.  I think Tyra Banks coined the term smize and that is exactly what she does.  (Ask Jason about smizing.  He knows.) 
(Packy is still talking.)
4. Even though I am ready to come home, as soon as I pack the car and drive away, I will cry.  It happens every time.  My heart breaks as I drive down the causeway.  Ready to get back to back to my real life but sad that my village is being torn apart again. 
5.  Emory and I are reading Black Beauty.  I read The Help this week.  Love getting lost in a book.
6.  Yesterday we tie-dyed shirts for everyone.  This was a project that everyone enjoyed.  They look really good and everyone is sporting them today.  Packy put his on this morning before the sun came up.  I feel a group shot coming.  It's nice to find an activity where everyone can participate and have fun.  One with minimal whining.  (I am not even going to go into the high level of whining that we have going on here.  Betsy was already worried that this post was going to be too depressing so I won't start. And the book reports.  Oh, the book reports.  Is FPD trying to kill me slowly?)
7.  So, Amy Winehouse died. Another casualty of addiction.  It makes me sad when people can't get it, but some people can't.  A family I have known since I was a teenager buried their child who was in college last week.  Another casualty of addiction. (Disclaimer: I do not know if this child was an actually an addict but I do know they died of an alcohol and pill combination.)  Amazing, loving,  family.  Do you get that?  It doesn't matter how great your family is, if you are an addict you are one.  Your family can't love you out of it.  You have to get it and some people can not get honest enough to get it, or they die before they get a chance.  Getting it to me means I can never have a mind altering substance again, for the rest of my life, or I risk dying. It also means trusting God to direct my paths and living by some simple steps.   I get to choose everyday to live or die.
8.  I am on the last week of my Philippians study.  I love what Paul says in chapter 4 verse 9:
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
In my head Paul is saying to me, "Now that you have all of the head knowledge, DO IT.  (I usually add a word along the lines of knucklehead at the end.) It's not going to do you any good if you don't apply what you have learned."   I need to be reminded of this all the time.  My mouth is my main problem.  If I don't pause when I get angry, ugly things come out.  I have a very sharp tongue and I go for the jugular if I feel wronged.  I know how to hurt people with words.  I hate this about myself.   This is something I am constantly working on.  Or should I say that I am constantly praying that God would change this about me.  What really gets me is when I see my kids modeling my bad behavior and letting their mouths get them into trouble or tearing each other down.  Makes my heart hurt.  Lord, please help us love each other.
9.  This is getting to be too deep so let's just talk about The Real Housewives of New York reunion.  Wow.  Bethenny got out at the perfect time.  Those girls are taking crazy to a new level.  Did you feel sorry for Andy? I love Andy Cohen.  I even love all of the Camp by Bravo commercials.  Britney Spears and all of the Bravo cast?  It's my dream come true.  (That statement might be pushing it or it might just make me seem pathetic. Either way, I love those commercials.)
10.  So.  One more week.  Just knowing that it is about to come to an end helps me to appreciate what we have.  A family that loves each other and is blessed to get to spend an entire month together. Now, breathe in, breathe out.  (So far this is the only group shot we have.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday (Tybee time remember?)

(Betsy just proofread and I misspelled Tuesday.  Not a good sign.  My brain is on vacation.)
1.  So we have made it half way.  Two weeks down, two to go.  So far, so good.  We have become a  little village.  It reminds me of olden times when generations lived together.  The lines blur from family to family.  If someone needs a diaper change, nose wipe, sunscreen or bug spray applied, book read to them, a boo boo that needs kissing, a bike ride around the block during the "witching hour" before supper, then the closest "mama" can help.  Of course sometimes only your real mama will do. 
2.  One of the best parts about being at the beach for a month is being with Betsy for a month.  I laugh so hard when I am with her.  Pee in my pants kind of laughing.  If I told you what we were laughing at you would say "Huh?".  It's totally the you had to be there, inside joke, kind of laughing. 
 3.  The first couple of trips to the beach include packing every sand toy, wave riding device, umbrella, tent, towel, and on and on.  Now we ride bikes with bathing suits on, no cover ups, no towels, one chair for the adult going, and maybe a bucket or boogie board if your lucky.  And you know what?  The end result is the same.  If the kids don't have a shovel they discover they have hands that dig.  My favorite part is watching the kids run the expanse of the beach and scream as loud as they can.  Sometimes I like to join in.  Not really the screaming part because that might cause alarm but the running part for sure.

4. Monday was one of those days.  It was a planning the menu for the week and going to the grocery store (15 minutes away) kind of day.  All of the kids played in the yard and it was really cute to watch them make "houses" with beach chairs and towels.  We didn't go to the beach or have any big energy spending events so when the witching hour hit, it hit hard.  People were all up on my nerves.  They were all on each other's nerves. I hadn't exercised in a couple of days (OK, more like 5 days) and I had lots of pent up energy too.  One hour of extreme frustration had Betsy and me questioning the entire day.  What could we have done better? Why didn't we plan more activities?  We should have....  The reality was that it was a good day except for an hour.  Satan really tries to use that hour to whisper as much self doubt as he can in to our ears.  It's nice to have another mom parenting along side you so you can put things in perspective.  They don't need us to schedule every hour of every day and they used their imaginations, which I love.  The next day we did get moving.  I exercised and we got them to the beach to run. 
5.  I overheard Packy telling Jason, "The music is playing in the kitchen.  Somebody is about to start cooking."  Dancing and cooking in the kitchen is another great part about Tybee.  I love that Packy already knows that music in the kitchen means food is coming.
6.  Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5
Lord, help me with this one.  My gentleness is lacking.  At the exact same time I typed that verse, I told one of my children to get away from me.  Is that gentle? Nope.  I would venture to say I am not known for my gentleness.  I sometimes struggle with showing affection to my big kids.  I have to think about it.  Put your hands on them and let them know they are loved. Try to do things they want to do. Be affectionate. 
7.  If you don't know the joy of taking an outside shower at night I hope you can find a place to make that happen.  There is just something about looking at the stars while you shower.  Reminds me of Eve in the garden before the whole apple eating, sin entering the world, naked and ashamed thing happened.  If there is a distant lighting storm, it is even more awesome.  Or awesomer, as my kids would say.
8.  Betsy and I are considering learning the choreography to the National Dance Day routine.  We would, of course, learn the advanced routine since Betsy is a trained dancer.  I will be sure to update you on our progress. 
9.  Are you still checking the God Centered Mom blog?  Good stuff.  Contentment: the alternative to comparison is amazing.  I think we, as women, are constantly comparing others outsides to our insides.  
I am trying to rejoice in the Lord, always, as Paul tells me. My inner attitude does not have to reflect my outer circumstances. 
10.   American Flag Churchwell is still alive but I can not tell you how many minutes of my life I have spent looking for him.  Packy doesn't want him to share a cage with the girls' hermit crabs so he puts his in a box.  American Flag can crawl out of his box.  Then he hides.  Last night at 11pm I was on my hands and knees praying that American Flag would reveal himself.  God delivered. 
11.  Even though we are a "village" I will still Mama Bear up on someone.  If my kids are blamed and I saw firsthand that it wasn't their fault or if someone is expecting too much from someone, I will defend my cubs.  I can fully accept everyone helping guide the children to be more Christ-like but there are times when I just instinctively protect my people.  They might think I'm crazy at times, but they know I've got their backs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1.  So we have survived the first week.  Maybe I should have asked God to work on something else besides loving others.  Being at the beach for a month is awesome but let's be honest, it can be hard.  We have 3 families, 6 children, 2 dogs, and 4 hermit crabs, all living in a 3 bedroom house.  People still have to eat, bath, and sleep.  There are lots of different personalities and different expectations all trying to work together. People have different styles of parenting, cooking, and cleaning. I think the thing that is different this year is better communication and a willingness to say "I'm sorry".  And I am talking about the adults, not the kids. 
2.  I don't trust men who wear cologne. Tybee is full of sketchy, too much cologne for the beach, jean short wearing men.
3.  Let me tell you about freezer candy.  You might cuss me for sharing this but it's just too good to keep to myself.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Take a cookie sheet and line it with aluminum foil.  Get one sleeve of saltines and line them up on the cookie sheet.  Now, take 2 sticks of butter and melt them with 1 cup of brown sugar.  After they are melted, bring it to a boil for 2 minutes. Pour over the crackers making sure to cover each one.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Pull it out of the oven and sprinkle one bag of milk chocolate chips on top and as they melt smooth them on top of the crackers.  Now pop it in to the freezer for about 30 minutes and then take it out and break them in to pieces.  We just put ours in a zip-loc bag and keep it in the freezer.  It lasts about one day. 
4. Jellyfish- 1 Payton- 0  Sharks teeth count: Payton- 5 Paul- 4 (but his were much bigger in size)
5.  Mimi is having art camp. Emory is having cheer camp.  Kayaking, bike riding. summer book reading, making ice cream, UNO and more UNO, exploring, cooking, exercising (a little), watching Britney Spears video marathon (OK that was just Betsy and me), and just enjoying being together. 

6.  This article on Inspire to action article about protecting your children on social media is really good.   Such a good reminder that my blog and Facebook is not a place to share my children's struggles.  My struggle with them, yes.  Do I want them to google their name as a teenager and be embarrassed about what I shared?  No.  I also want to protect my husband and my marriage.  Somethings are better said in private than put as a status just to get some "likes".  I am really starting to see the danger of self promotion in our culture. 
7. Ephesians 3:17-19 We would have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how high and wide and long and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that we might be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.
This verse is listed as the chief request of our church each week.  Requesting that we would know how much Christ loves us.  To be honest, this has been really hard for me.  As I try to think about how high, wide, long, and deep Christ's love is for me it makes my brain hurt.  It's too big.  How can he love me like that?  How can he know everything I have ever done or ever thought and still love me like that?  So then I think, it's nothing I have done that allows him to love me in that big way.  It's only because of the death of his son that he can love me and see me as someone precious.  But then that turns my brain too because how could Jesus die for me?  I took Jay and Josie to the beach the other night and we talked about the sand.  God knows how many grains of sand are on the Tybee Island beach.  He knows exactly what is in the ocean that stretches out so far that you can't see anything else on the horizon.  He is so big and yet so intimate.  I can only meditate on that for a short period of time and then I thank God that I don't have to understand it to believe it. 
8.  Last week I started to edit my blogger profile.  Trying to condense who I am in a short paragraph sends me into some serious reflection.  I was bored with what it said before and didn't feel like it accurately said what I would want someone visiting my blog to know about me.  I hate to ask the rhetorical "Who am I?" question but who I am has changed since I last updated that profile a couple of years ago.  I am still a wife, still a mom, still an addict in recovery, but how do they all relate together?  I think the way they all relate to each other now is that my relationship with Christ is involved in all of them.  I used to have different compartments of who I was and being a Christian was just one of the compartments.  I wanted God's help in some areas, but I wanted him to let me have a few areas to handle on my own.  If I had to tell you right now what the "silver lining" of my addiction was I would say that God used it to bring me to my knees in order for me to give him my life.  All of my life, not just the parts I was willing to give him. (And I do see my addiction as a blessing, not a burden.) So now as I think about my profile, I see my life with a few labels and Christ stamped across all of them.
9.  I love seeing the different relationships between the six cousins. Everyone rotates who they play with.  Emory is very much into babysitting Lolly.  Packy and Josie play great together (most of the time).  Jay is a little lost when the men leave but will be happy to ride his bike with someone who is pulling non bike riders.  Jay and Josie can sometimes be a good mix as the two that put more thought in to life instead of being carefree. Emory and Hattie could play all day, every day.  It's always changing. 
10.  I am currently babysitting Lolly and American Flag Churchwell whiIe Betsy takes 3 kids on a bike ride.  American Flag is the second hermit crab that Packy has had on this trip.  Nemo was his first crab and he met an untimely death.  It was very traumatic for Packy.  He was bringing him to me to see if he was sleeping when Nemo's limp body came out of shell and fell to the ground.  Packy's new way of handling things is to run.  Forest Gump style.  As soon as he realized Nemo was gone he took off, screaming and running.  When he stopped running Papa gave him a small tin to put his body in and they had a funeral.  All afternoon, he kept digging him back up.  When Papa asked him why he kept doing that, he said he wanted to see if Nemo had gone to heaven yet, but he had not.  Papa explained that your body doesn't go to heaven, but your soul does.  Later that night Josie and Packy had a screaming at the top of their lungs fight about if your body goes to heaven or not.  It was a funny fight to listen in on.  So back to the crabs.  The next day Jason took Packy back to the store where he adopted American Flag Churchwell.  He is still kickin'.....at least for today.
Thank you Dad, Jason, and Lee for letting your girls be beach bums for a month.  Big thanks to Papa for making it all possible. And of course a big thanks to Mimi for allowing us to turn her relaxing house into a house of crazy. We love you! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun on Friday

Does it get any better than this?
I really tried to get my ten done this week but I am on Tybee time and Tybee time is really slow.  The good news is I am ahead for next Tuesday.  Everyone is having so much fun and adjusting well to 12 people living in a 3 bedroom house.  I can't wait to tell you all about it but for now I can only give you some Lolly love.