Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Resume Writing With Doofus (I Mean Me)

There are times when I wonder if I've completely lost my ability to think, and then there are time I prove it to myself. Today would be one of those days. I found myself needing to work on a resume and for some reason that creates a sense of panic in me that is equaled only by the idea of taking all 3 of my children into an antique store. I am horrible with resumes 1. Because I can never remember important things, like dates or info. about former employers and 2. Despite having numerous jobs I still have no idea what I am qualified to do. At this point in life wipin' hineys and washing clothes are my most used skills.

So, I enlisted Josh's help. He's worked in management and is really good at knowing the fancy things to write that sound good. Here is how our session went:

Me: What about this one? (Pointing to template covered in flowers and several colors)
Josh: No

Josh: You need to change the font your name is in.
Me: How about this one? (Chooses fancy script)
Josh: No
Me: I like this one. (Chooses cartoony block letters)
Josh: No
Me: Should I just get Times New Roman?
Josh: No
Me: Okay, let's move on.

Josh: Use bullets for your qualifications.
Me: I guess you can't use smiley faces on a resume?
Josh: No.

Josh: Don't forget to list your AA degree.
Me: Oh yeah. I always forget I have that. (Seriously. Who forgets stuff like that??)
Josh: Spell it out.
Me: How do you spell out AA? (Yes, I really did ask that.)
Josh: *looks at me bewildered and befuddled*
Before he could say "Here's your sign!" I answered "Oh yeah! Associate of Arts!"
Josh: *Smiles proudly and gives me the look we give Eli when he counts to ten or Kate when she sits on the potty.*

What can I say? This is my brain on kids. In case you are wondering why I'm working on a resume I will let you in on a little secret. When we found out we were moving I started researching and learned that there is no dance studio here in our town. That meant I would have to drive the girls 45 minutes (I know one day I will learn there is a spiritual application for why we have to live 45 minutes from everything) for dance classes. I really started praying that if it was His Will God would open the door for me to teach dance here. So crazy, I know. I've been praying and really trying to figure out how in the world I could open a dance studio here. For a girl like me, not having a dance studio in town is equal to not having a gas station. :) Well, a couple of nights ago I got a text message from my Mom that said there is a brand new dance studio opening here and they are looking for teachers!

I talked with the owner today and I'm supposed to send my resume. (Y'all pray about that, 'k?) :) She is planning to have some judges she knows from competitions her daughters have participated in to come watch the people she chooses to interview dance and teach a class. The thought of that is so nervewracking I could puke right this very minute. (Sorry, that was gross.) I am just excited because even if it doesn't work out for me to teach my girls will have a studio here. And if it does work out, that will just be a cherry on top. :)

So, let's recap:
  • Today I learned how to spell Associate of Arts (Go ahead, ask. I know you are wondering what cracker jack box I got my degree from. :)

  • I haven't danced in over 9 years and I am going to have to choreograph a dance and PERFORM it in front of judges.

  • I am crazy. But that goes without saying, right?
  • Why aren't there smiley face bullets on Blogger?

  • I'm thinking of using this outfit for my tryout. What do you think???

  • Do they make tutus with Spanx???????

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

She Cried For Me

This morning all of the little people in my house woke up a little more excited than usual. We had a playdate! I shared in a previous blog that one of my good friends had put me in touch with one of her very best friends here in our little town. Audra is also a preacher's wife and mother of 3. I so enjoyed getting to talk with her at our last playdate and I have to admit that I was as excited as the kids to have someone my own age to play with. :)

I have been so blessed with friends of all ages and various seasons of life. I've learned so much from my friends who are older and have older kids. They share their advice and wisdom and remind me to slow down and enjoy these days. I also enjoy my friends who are younger or just in a different season of singleness or just married. I *try* to share my wisdom with them. I have to say though, it did my heart good today to be with someone my age in my exact same season. As the kids rotated from bedrooms to the playroom to the backyard, Audra and I attempted a conversation. We shared mommy talk about ear infections, good sales at Children's Place and homeschooling. Many times we were each interrupted by a crying baby or hungry preschooler. It was great to spend the morning with someone who can wipe snot, serve capri suns, and push a swing without missing a beat in the conversation. :)

It was during some swing pushing that Audra asked how I've been doing grieving my Dad. Not only is Audra a homeschooling mother of 3 and a preacher's wife, but she also worked for Hospice doing the exact same job I did. I know that she was excellent at her job because I immediately felt like I could open up to her. I shared with her some of my struggles and it was during that conversation that she began to cry. For me. I was overwhelmed by such a sincere, genuine expression of compassion. It made me feel free to cry. So we cried. And it meant more than a million words ever could. I was reminded of Jesus' words when He told us to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15.

Thank you Audra for mourning with me! And thank you Jesus, for knowing just what I need!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Good Lesson on Good Friday

This post has been brewing in my heart for almost a month now. Yes, since Good Friday. The week of Easter Josh recieved a voicemail. I didn't even hear it for myself and I think it is best. Just listening to Josh tell me about it created such anger inside of me I could have spit fire. I'm sure you can understand that I can't give you details and for that I apologize. I hate being vague which is why I've put off writing this post. Tonight I felt it was time.

The voicemail was an assault on Josh's character and motives. It didn't actually have a thing in the world to do with me, and yet it had everything to do with me. I've learned that Jesus was right when He said that, "the two shall become one" (Mark 10:8). When someone speaks against Josh it is equal to speaking it against me. We are one. In fact, if you want to hurt me, hurt Josh.

Well, like I said, I was very upset. I felt very justified in my anger. In fact, if I could tell you about the voicemail you would probably jump right on the bandwagon of being angry too. You would assure me I was justified. But that is not what this is about. This is about the lesson I had to learn that week.

Just a few days later in Sunday School we were discussing taking the Lord's Supper. Of course I just couldn't get past the part that tells us we are not to take the Lord's Supper if we have an issue with our brother. I was having big ol' issues with one of mine. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 tells us, 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. Of course, I was tempted to think that other person was the one who needed to make things right not me. Wrong. God made it very clear to me that the only person I could control in the situation was me.

During church I found myself begging God to show me how to deal with the anger. I just felt like it was doing it's best to take up permanent residence in my heart. I also knew it was the kind of anger that would turn into an ugly bitterness if I kept feeding it. I desperately wanted to worship, especially that week, with clean hands and a pure heart. As I was praying my mind kept explaining to God how bad it hurt. How unfair it was for Josh to be so falsely accused. How disappointing it was that a person seemed so willing to overlook the truth and slander someone who had done nothing but try his hardest to do God's Will.

Even as the thoughts were racing through my mind Josh stood up and began to preach about the trials and crucifixion of Christ. The forced trials where Jesus was falsely accused and then punished after being found innocent! He described in detail the scourging that took place to punish a man who had done nothing but good while He walked this earth. And then, he reminded us of the mocking that took place. The crowds laughing at Jesus and mocking everything He stood for. And it was His Word that told me exactly what I had to do with my anger.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Luke 23:34
For the first time in my life I heard this story in a fresh way. I've always focused so much on the physical pain that Jesus suffered that day. This year, I was overcome with grief for the emotional pain that Jesus must have felt. False accusations. Jeering. Mocking. I can't even begin to understand any of the pain that He felt that day. But I know how my Lord and Savior dealt with it. He offered forgiveness. Jesus turned my eyes from my own sense of injustice and anger and amazed me anew with the grace and mercy that are His story. It was a good lesson for Good Friday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You've Got To Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em.....

My day today couldn't have been any more exciting. It was so exciting that I decided to deal with "THE SOCK BOX". Do you have a sock box at your house? What is a sock box you ask? Well, at our house it is actually TWO tupperware containers full of, yeah, socks. Black socks. White socks. Brown socks with pink stripes. Spiderman socks. Dora socks. Or maybe I should say Dora *sock*. Because you see, the thing about the socks in the sock box is that they don't have a match. So sad. I've considered putting them on I hear that site really does work.

Well, these were the last two remaining boxes from our move. They've been taking up space in my bedroom and collecting clothes. My husband has an aversion to putting dirty clothes in the hamper. We find it is better to pile them up in a mountainous heap that also includes clean clothes, belts, bags, and other random stuff. I personally enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out what is clean and what is not. Adds a level of difficulty that really spices up the laundry for me.

I packed these boxes during our move and after close to two months in these boxes I decided it was time to just chunk them. This is very hard for me because, yes, I do know there are children in other countries who do not have socks to wear. Actually, I've wondered if God might consider sending us to a tropical island with a no shoe requirement. Does anybody else have children who suffer from "My socks don't feel right" syndrome? In case you are wondering the symptoms of this disease are:

*excessive whining
*rolling around on the floor, kicking and screaming
*taking socks and shoes off at every given opportunity
*uttering the words "MY SOCKS DON'T FEEL RIGHT!!!!!!" in a very high pitched, annoying voice

Two of my children were born with this syndrome and it has led to my undying love and devotion to the summer months of flip-flops and sandals. Cleanliness and barefootedness are next to godliness at our house.
I was actually shocked at how many pairs I did put together today. I was also amazed at my level of procrastination when I found Eli's baby socks. His baby socks, y'all. The child is about to turn 5. It was really time to deal with the sock box. You know, just in time for the months when we don't wear socks. They will now sit nicely in drawers until next fall. The cooler weather will creep in, we'll shop for new fall shoes and we'll pull out the nicely matched socks. And.....they won't fit!!!!! THEY WON'T FEEL RIGHT!!!!! And my mind will drift to fantasies of these days....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's 3 AM I Must Be Lonely

Okay, so it's not really 3 am. And I'm not lonely. I just felt like naming this post that and this is my blog so I can do stuff like that. And, it seems appropriate as somehow in the last week I have moved into the most bizzare sleep schedule. I truly have been staying up until 3 am and it's not because I'm lonely. It's because I'm desperate to be alone. Do any of you other Moms out there feel me on that one? Every night I have the best intentions of heading to bed at least by 11:00, but then a really good show comes on. Or I realize I can fold clothes without having to fix 8 cups of milk or open 15 popsicles. One night I even decided I wanted to vacuum. At midnight. I blamed that on sympathy nesting. My sister is expecting her baby very soon and I am sitting on go.

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am. My sister was living far, far away in Alaska when my nephew was born and Kate was a newborn at the time. I didn't get to see Luke until he was 6 months old. Just about did me in. So, the idea that when the phone rings my Mom and I will scurry around and hightail it to my sister's house and I will either have one on one uninterrupted time with my adorable nephew OR I will get to be at the hospital when my beautiful niece makes her grand appearance just sends me over the moon. It makes me so excited I write horrible, run on sentences that probably make you want to whip out a red pen and scribble little x's all over your computer screen. Sorry. Did I mention I haven't been sleeping much? I've wondered if that is preparation for baby duty. Even though I am no longer equipped for 3 am feedings if you know what I mean, but still, if nothing else I can keep them company. Because I'm sure Jenny will want nothing more than to watch Criminal Minds in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I'll vacuum for her. I mean, if everybody's gonna be up anyway....

Okay, so obviously I am a little hyper tonight. I had no caffeine for 3 days in an attempt to realign my sleeping habits. It didn't work by the way. Today I had 4 Diet Cokes and now I feel like I might stand up and spin around in circles in the living room. Did you ever do that when you were little? I was always very easily entertained....

Today I spent the day with my SIL, Leah. We browsed our cute little downtown stores and then picked up Josh and the kids to join us for some Chinese food. Tonight we had supper with Josh's family at Outback. Before supper we made a stop by Hobby Lobby to look for party ideas for Eli's upcoming birthday. I had talked him into a dinosaur party because I found this really cute dinosaur cupcake pan. But, I had no luck finding dinosaur stuff so now we're having a pirate party. My birthday party planning skills: Cheap and easy. That's how I do it. Aren't my kids lucky?

Daisy is still escaping and the neighborhood kids who hang out at our house are growing in number by the day. Last night I went outside to tell Eli it was time for church and he was on the trampoline with another 4 year old who I didn't even know had come over. They had golf clubs playing sword fight with them. I know I'm old because instead of thinking "FUN!" when I happen upon a scene like that I think, ' LAWSUIT! MEDICAL BILLS! NEW GLASSES FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS!' The influx of kids could have to do with word on the street being that the preacher is giving out money. On Sunday two of the kids came over while we were still getting ready for church. Josh gave them money for the offering. The next time they came over they asked Josh for some more money. He politely told the boy "No" and he said, "Oh. We only get money on Sundays?" Uh, yeah. But could we keep that on the downlow????

Well, the only other news I have to share (that I can remember at this point in time) is that I've started back on weight watchers. I've never done the real deal, just my own version I made up from reading stuff online. I did really good with it after I had Kate and lost 30 pounds. I still have those last 15 or so pounds I just can't rid of. I haven't been able to bring myself to Shred. I know Jillian is so disappointed in me. I've just decided that not eating sounds better to me right now than push-ups. That's all. :)

My Uncle Jamie is famous in our family for sending out funny cartoon e-mails portraying all of the family. He sent this one to me today of "Emily's Visit to the Doc". I thought I would share it with you all so you could know the real reason I can't lose those last pounds..... :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's 15:00 Somewhere?

I don't blog much about homeschooling because to be honest, I have quite the love/hate relationship with it. I'm just bein' honest. I am straight up jealous of the homeschooling moms who rock. They teach 8 subjects a day to 10 kids of all ages and even do cool science projects. They're out there, I've read their blogs.

In case you are not familiar with me, I AM NOT that Mom. I am the Mom sweeping the kitchen floor, begging my younger two to watch TV while I try to explain multiplication and why we need to know who the first president was. On a good day Kate does watch cartoons, on a normal day she polishes my nightstand with vaseline. On a good day Eli works on his letters at the table while Sarah does her work, on a normal day he watches cartoons.

This year has been an especially difficult one for homeschooling. We have been crazy busy, for many different reasons good and bad. To say that it is has been challenging to create a schedule would be the understatement of the century. The flexibility of homeschooling is one of the things that I love about it, but for this very non-disciplined, head in the clouds Mama, I have to work extra hard. Some days I am sooo ready to load everybody up and take 'em to school. Even my two who aren't old enough to go. Then, there are also days that remind me why I love homeschooling.

The days that make me want to lay in the fetal position and cry are the days when Sarah whines about every.single.thing I tell her to do. Those are usually the days Eli is squealing and fighting with Kate. Or he's running through the house hitting everything with his styrofoam sword and Kate is putting all of the toothpaste in the toilet. And Sarah asks something like, "Is it 15 0' clock?" Lord, have mercy.

But then, there are days like yesterday that give me the warm fuzzies for homeschooling all over again. Sarah was sitting at the table with her piggy bank counting her money. I LOVE when we can use real life to do school. She counted out her quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. She added them all together. Her motive in counting her money? She had been looking through the Oriental Trading catalog and she found a robot bank she thought would be perfect. The Easter Bunny brought the kids piggy banks for Easter and it took Eli all of 5 minutes to drop his on the floor in the kitchen and break it. :) Anyway, I thought it was so sweet that Sarah wanted to spend her money on Eli's birthday present. Proud Mama moment. Especially since just last week she was saving up to put in a pool. :) We looked in the catalog to see how much the bank cost.I was a little surprised to see the cost. $16.99 for the bank. I had Sarah subtract what she had from the cost to see how much she still needed. I was still thinking that it seemed a little pricey. That's when I noticed it said the cost was $16.99 for a dozen robot banks. I explained this to Sarah and she answered, "I know. That way he'll have more if he breaks one." Good thinkin' babygirl, good thinkin'!!!!!! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

About Me

Your first thought when reading that title was probably, 'Good grief, is there anything we DON'T know about her?' *rolls eyes*. Well, I would be tempted to say probably not, but in reality there actually is a lot I don't blog about. Does that scare you or what?

This blog today is more of an introspective for me. I just happen to be going through one of those times in life when one tends to withdraw into their own little corner of the world and reassess some things. Or is that just me? Well, the thing is, I'm just working through some emotions. And if there is one thing I know you all know about me it is the fact that I am a hotmess of emotions.

I have been hesitant to gush over my happiness with our new home and church because I so don't want to hurt the feelings of those we left behind in Mississippi. But, it has made me very happy to be where we are. There, I said it. I struggled so much with feeling like people were going to think that Josh and I were just taking the easy way out, moving closer to home. But you know what? I'm over that. Josh and I know what God was leading us to do and He has given me many remedial courses on the lesson of concerning myself with what He wants and not what other people think.

On that same note, while I have been very happy I have also experienced great grief since we've been here. There isn't an inch of space between our house and Panama City that doesn't hold a memory of my Dad and I've often wondered if us being here was necessary for me to truly heal. I can't hide. I can't pretend he's at his house, because I go there too much now and it's too empty without him. Days like today fill my heart when my Mom and brother come over just to have lunch and hang out, but those visits also bring an ache when my Dad isn't laughing at mine and Philip's attempts at playing basketball.

In addition to the grief I also realize every now and then that, well, we're not from here! We've stayed so busy with our families and old friends visiting, but then sometimes it hits me that I don't actually really know people here. They don't know me. That was something that made leaving Mississippi so hard. I felt like I had just started really getting to know people. There was a day I was at the park with my PW friend, Amy and we hadn't heard from any of the churches yet but we were really sure God would be moving us. I told her I felt so torn because I felt like it was time for us to move, but I was also just starting to build relationships with people. She told me that was a sure sign God was about to move us. I hate that it took me so long to build relationships in Ms. and one of my goals here is to really jump in and get to know people. Of course, that doesn't mean that they really want to know me. :)

I feel like I have an advantage this time and that is what I was really planning to write about. (I know you all just breathed a sigh of relief that there actually is a point to this.) I feel like the difference between now and when we moved to Ms. is that now, I know who I am. Does that sound crazy? Let me explain.

I've shared so many times that I went through a serious time of depression. During that time I really felt like Emily got lost. I just didn't know who I was anymore. I didn't have any interests, hobbies or goals. I really didn't have any energy. When God healed me of that depression I was a young mom with 2 kids under the age of 3 finishing up my bachelor's degree and serving as the coordinator for our church's MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. Life for me revolved around Josh and the kids, church and school. Again, I was still pretty lost in the mix. You will never believe what brought about this realization for me. MySpace. Seriously. My sister was living in Alaska at the time and she created a profile on there and asked my permission to use some pictures of my kids. Of course I ended up on there so we could keep in touch and that was how this blog was birthed. :) Anyway, I really struggled with setting up my profile. It asked for my interests and activities and for me tell about myself. I was clueless. I was also absolutely horrified at the idea of posting pictures for people from high school to see. I was close to 50 pounds heavier than I had been in high school. I didn't even feel like the same person.

It wasn't long after that that God called us to Mississippi. Those of you who have followed my blog know what an experience that was. God stretched our faith until I was afraid it would break and then instead grew it beyond what I could ever have imagined. Josh and I were put in a situation where it was us against the world. We had no one but God and ourselves to depend on. Our family grew closer together. God put me in a job that required non-stop constant learning, growth and crying out to Him. He sent me into a job where I KNEW there were people who didn't like me, and let me tell you, Emily from high school COULD NOT handle that. Turns out Emily now can.

I lived my entire life as the most incurable people pleaser you could ever meet. Wasn't that cute of God to make me a preacher's wife? Well, that people pleasing was just one thing that God would have to change out of a million. That time wasn't all about changing though. A lot of it was God reminding me of who I am. Reminding me of the things I love and am passionate about. I learned that it is hard to be close to people when you don't even know those things about yourself. So I was amazed at how my relationships grew when I figured out enough about myself to be able to share it.

Here is some of what I learned:

I still love dancing even if I am old and not cute when I do it anymore. I love fast, upbeat songs that make me happy. I am obsessed with mysteries, whether they be movies, TV shows or books. (However, I prefer it not be the "what is that gooey thing stuck to the cabinet" kind of mysteries.) I am not a phone person. I just don't like to talk on the phone. I prefer to have long conversations over cheese dip and all you can drink Diet Coke. I love people, but I require an abnormal amount of alone time to be able to function properly. I am addicted to beauty products and could spend a week and an entire paycheck at the drugstore. I am passionate about raising Godly children who love Jesus and others even if I'm not always very good at it. I love to dress up. I am fascinated by the human psyche and find myself doing a pyscho-social assessment in my head while talking with people. Nothing means more to me than people feeling like they can share their deepest secrets with me. I like to eat. A lot. I've also discovered a new found interest in cooking. I desperately want to be healthy and take really good care of my body, but I fail miserably most of the time. Writing is my therapy and my hobby. My dream in life is that it could one day be my job. Jesus is my life. Josh is my soul mate. My kids are the greatest gift I've ever been given. I've been blessed so much more than I deserve with unconditonally loving family and friends who challenge me, bless me and amaze me.

I've learned that I am stronger than I think, and when I'm not strong God always provides the strength I need or strong people to lean on. I've learned that there are always more things to be grateful for at the end of the day than things to complain about. I've learned that I can't make everybody happy and it's not my job anyway. I've learned that sometimes people need to experience anger and sadness and then they need to learn to cope with it. I've learned that God is the only one who knows my heart and so His opinion of me is the One that matters most.

Instead of worrying and stressing over things I can't control, I pray about them.

Instead of trying to save the world, I focus on the people and circumstances God has placed right in my lap.

Instead of seeking the limelight, I seek His light and direction.

Instead of griping, nagging and complaining about the faults I see in others I ask God to make me thankful for their presence in my life and shine light on the things I can encourage them in.

Instead of asking, "Will this make everybody happy?" I ask "What will this matter in eternity?" Because at the end of the day, the only things that matter are the things that matter to the Father. Whatever public opinion might be of me, He is my Maker and my Judge. And however I feel about others, I will one day be accountable for what they have seen in my life.

In case you're wondering, you will not find this little excerpt on my MySpace page. :) Because I've also learned that honestly, most people don't care to know all of this anyway. But if you've read through all of this I really want to know. What do you wish others knew about you? What have you learned about yourself that surprised even you?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


You've all heard the saying, "It's never too late to make a good impression", right? Is that how it goes? Or is it, "It's never to late to make a first impression" or a bad impression? Or a bad first impression? Or how about, "It's never too late to make the neighbors wish you'd go back to wherever you came from". How 'bout that one?

Let me tell you, I cannot leave my kids alone for 3.25 seconds. For starters, we've already had to put extra locks on two of our doors. You know those that they have on hotel doors? Yes, that is what we have because our 2 year old is an ESCAPE ARTIST!!! I'm talkin, Houdini ain't got nothin' on her. She especially prefers to escape while she is dressed only in a pull-up and I am in the process of getting dressed with, y'know, my jeans on with my pajama shirt and my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth. Because nothing says, "Hello, I'm the preacher's wife" like running through the yard, half dressed screaming "KATELYN ANN FIDLER!!!!! KATELYN ANN FIDLER!!!!!!!!!!!! GET IN THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!"

I guess I can't put all the blame on her. Apparently it is genetic. When my sister and cousin were two they escaped from a housefull of people and went for a tour of the neighborhood. They were later found at a neighbor's birthday party and it is still the family joke that those two were born to find the party. :)

Well, I decided we had to do something the day I saw Josh jump the fence in the backyard because Kate had headed down the street. I was also really impressed with his mad fence jumping skillz! I didn't know he could do that! So, now we are on lockdown. And by we I mean, of course, me and Josh. Seriously, it's like the childproof medicine bottles. We're the only ones who get locked out. Or in.

Daisy has reached a whole new level of rebellion. You cannot keep a good woman down. And you cannot keep our crazy dog in the yard. Y'all she has like 5 boyfriends here. The funny thing is that now, she runs away, finds these boys and brings them IN our fenced back yard!!!! I can't take the garbage to the dumpster b/c I can't figure out how to get out of the gate but all of the neighborhood dogs can get in. Today I pulled up in the driveway and saw her boyfriend watching me across the street. Next thing I know, here comes Daisy. They were totally like a couple of teenagers caught making out. Mercy.

I've learned that you can lock the kids in the backyard, but you can't keep them from screaming profanities and flipping off other children who ride by. Oh yes. When I got home from the store today I was informed that one of the neighborhood boys I am now raising had done just such a thing and the little girl's dad had made a visit to handle it. Isn't that great? I was planning to bake cookies to take to the neighbors, but hey, why do that when you can just have the kids cuss everybody out, right? And if that plan doesn't work for you, you can also have the kids throw PVC pipe in the neighbor's yard. We got to meet another neighbor tonight when he brought part of our sprinkler system back to us during supper. Taco night turned into the perfect opportunity to have the "we don't flip people off, yell cuss words at them or throw stuff in our neighbor's yards" talk. Have you had that one yet?

Here goes the neighborhood.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Don't Feel Like Saving the World Today

Do you ever have times when you just feel totally overwhelmed by the pain and suffering in this world? I personally have always struggled with being very sensitive to those around me who are suffering. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant. I know God has given the gift of compassion to many. Sometimes it hits me with such force that it affects me physically. Makes me sick to my stomach. In the last week I learned that a dear family we love had a family member hospitalized for what could have turned into a very serious medical problem. I then found out that a friend I've known since the days we played dolls together lost her 4 year old son. She had already lost his twin at birth. Then just yesterday I got the news that a sweet co-worker of mine from Mississippi lost her husband after a hard fought battle with cancer. I can't even begin to know the pain they are experiencing. I know how bad it hurt just to hear the news for them. I remembered this blog that I wrote several years ago when I was still working with Hospice. When I was facing a significant amount of heartache on a daily basis and feeling overwhelmed that so much pain could exist at one time. I thought I would share it again and ask for your prayers for these precious families who are hurting so bad...


I don’t feel like saving the world today...

I don't feel like saving the world today. Sometimes I just want to play at the park or go for walks. I want to swim at the beach or watch movies. I want to lay on the couch and read mystery novels or bake cheesecake brownies. Sometimes I just don't feel like saving the world.

Sometimes I want to believe that people aren't hurting. I want to forget that there are sick, elderly people who live alone and have no company. I don't want to know that there are people my age with little girls who are dying of AIDS and worrying that they are a burden to their family.

I wish I could forget that there is never enough money for all of the needs, that people live in houses that aren't fit for the bugs that overtake them. I don't want to speak empty words of "We'll see" when the frailest of all want to come home from the nursing home.

I wish I had a prescription pad like the doctor. You have arthritis-here's a pill. You have an infection-here's an antibiotic. You need a wheelchair-here it comes. I don't have a prescription pad for loneliness, guilt, depression, or lack of resources. I wish I could write a prescription and say, "Here, now your children will come visit you. Oh, you're scared of dying, here's a pill for that."

I just don't feel like saving the world today.

"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them."
-Matthew 4:23-34

That's what I'll do, I'll bring them to You. I know that you didn't ask me to save the world, just to care for those who are here. So I'll care for them the best I can, and I'll bring them to you and lay them at your feet, the only place where healing takes place and all needs are met.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Little of This, A Little of That

I try really hard to have a point to my blogs. To write things that will entertain you or encourage you. I have to confess that lately my blog juice has dried up. I just haven't been feeling it. Josh attributes it to exhaustion due to what I'm calling "The Feeding of the 5,000". We've had a lot of company lately! I've loved every bit of it though from having our family here to the neighborhood kids to some dear church friends we hadn't seen in almost 5 years!! (I'm planning a whole post on that when I can drag my lazy self out to the storage shed and get some pictures I want to post with it.) I don't know if it has been the beautiful weather or the excitement of all the newness, but I have just felt so productive. It feels good until I sit down at night and can't form a complete thought. Hence, the difficulty in blogging. So what I'm saying is I have a lot to say, but no energy or mental capacity to say it!! I will just try to hit the high points from this last week....

*Monday Sarah and Eli were still at my Mom's and just as I was about to leave the house the pest control guy showed up. As you can imagine I am a big fan of the pest control guy and was very excited by his presence in our home! While we waited for him to finish my Mom sent me a text saying that the kids wanted to go see the Chipmunk movie and she hadn't seen it so she was taking them. Josh and I took advantage of the extra time and decided to go eat at Arby's. It was a very full circle moment. When we were in high school I spent many Wednesday's eating lunch at that Arby's and leading SAC meetings. You see, I was the president of the Singles Anonymous Club (because I was the only of my friends that ever stayed single long enough to hold that title). It just so happened that Josh and his friends also hung out at that Arby's on Wednesdays. Does God have a sense of humor or what? We were very disappointed that Arby's had changed it's layout and decorations. I mean, really, didn't they know they are a landmark in the history of our lives and they were supposed to stay stuck in 1997 forever??

*Thursday morning Eli and Kate went to Mom's Morning Out and I got 3 hours at home with just Sarah. This next Thurs. Sarah is going to work on her schoolwork in Josh's office while I hang out with my SIL Leah. Seriously, MMO is going to revolutionize my life. Well at least until next month when Eli will be too old for it. But hey, it's nice while it lasts! Let me tell you a really long story of how I found out about MMO. When we found out we might be moving to this area, one of my dearest friends, Brandi, got me connected with her best friend who lives here. She is also a PW and a homeschooling mom with 3 kids who are all within a year of my kid's ages. Pretty cool, huh? Well, she started reading my blog and told her friend, who just happens to be the children's director at the church where they have MMO, about my blog and she started reading it. Audra and I planned a playdate a couple of weeks ago and Deborah asked if she could come because she wanted to meet me! They are such great girls and we had lots of fun! I was excited to find out that some twins had just moved leaving two openings for my kids. Okay, can you tell I'm a little excited?

*Thursday afternoon I made my way to P.C. to meet my Mom. My sister gave us both gift certificates for pedicures as a thank you for her baby shower and we decided to go together. I have to admit that I have the most ticklish feet EVER and was literally LAUGHING OUT LOUD while the lady exfoliated my feet. I also managed to push the wrong button on the massage chair (shocking, I know). Thankfully it just started beating me on the back. I'm pretty sure I could have eventually found a button that would have projected me across the room Go-go gadget style. After we left the nail salon I had to go shopping for a swimsuit. I preferred a root canal but the dentist was all booked up. Amazingly I found a swimsuit I really liked and felt comfortable in at only the second store. Notice I said I felt comfortable. I didn't feel like a Sports Illustrated model, but I felt like I could bend over to scoop up a tantrum throwing toddler without causing massive trauma to those around. Know what I'm sayin'? Oh how swimsuit shopping has changed. :)

*Friday Leah and T came to spend the day with us. It was the first time Leah had seen our house and Mrs. Traci hadn't seen it since the night we moved in. It was fun to show them around and have lunch together. The kids were a *tad* bit excited as evidenced by the fact that we finally had to make Eli run laps around the trampoline. We had supper with them that night and then went to a church softball game. Let me just stop here and mention that this week I went 5 days without a Diet Coke. For real. Well, I could tell everynight by 8:00 when I was yawning in 3 minute intervals. We left the ball park about 10:00 our time and this was the conversation in our vehicle: Eli-"I'm hot." Sarah-"I'm cold." Eli-"I'm tired." Kate-"kdhsoihds." Me-"Is there ANYTHING else??????"

*Yesterday we loaded up for the beach. Mrs. Traci had planned a beach day and some more of Josh's family were meeting us there. In fact, one of those family members I had never met in real life, but she also started reading my blog a while back. It has been so neat to get to meet people in real life! I so enjoyed visiting with her and hope we get to see them again soon. We had a blast at the beach. It was totally worth lugging the 700 pound cooler in the sand for. :) Josh was not there becasue he was playing golf and he was *supposed* to come after his game, but it ended up going a little longer than he planned. I later found out he was hitting balls and hitting people's houses. Really, with our track record of brokeded things, he probably needs a new hobby, don't you think?

*We culminated our weekend with a great visit with those sweet friends I mentioned earlier. The boy who was our ring bearer in our wedding (he's 16 now, but let's not talk about that) is part of that family and he wanted a ride in Josh's Monte Carlo that is FINALLY running. While they were cruising the neighborhood after church they met one of our neighbors. This neighbor started telling Josh about his neighbors and how one of them used to be a notable Nascar driver(Josh said I can't put his name) and that he grew marijuana on his back 40 and they would smoke it and talk about racing. I was wondering if this neighbor did not think it strange that my husband was in a suit and assumed the man did not realize he was telling this story to the preacher. Oh, but he did. Josh introduced himself as the preacher and he *still* told him this story. You gotta love honest people, right? I do think I will tuck this in the "Could only happen to us" file. :)

*Oh yeah, speaking of our new neighbors, Daisy has a new beau. Literally. His name is Bo. He's a pittbull that just got sprung from the pound and lives across the street. Daisy has found a million different ways to get out of the fence, but the moment I would give a million dollars to have gotten a picture of was when we pulled up the other night and she and Bo were sitting together IN THE YARD! BEHIND THE FENCE! Now she's inviting boys over while we're gone!!!!!! I really hope Rebel has moved on and isn't still pining away in Montrose.....Something gives me the idea that he probably has. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Commercial Break

So, I think I've told you that for 3 years we did not have cable and ever since the digital conversion we had NO TV. It was cool. We each had our designated movies. I personally watched "Runaway Bride" a record 4.5 million times. We now have cable and I was not prepared for what that would mean for our kids.

For one things, Kate does not understand commercials. I mean they just freak her out. She will come running with the remote expecting us to "fix" her show. You have to understand, this child had known NO TV for her entire life. Commercials are a bummer aren't they? Well, I used to think they were, but now I am very easily entertained and there are a few that make me laugh out loud. And that's sad.

Today I got the kids Happy Meals on the way home from Moms Morning Out. (One of the churches here has this program where every Thurs. I get to drop Kate and Eli off to play from 9-12. Today was their first day and they had so much fun! And I got so much done!) The toys were those dragons from that new movie. Eli started telling me all kinds of stuff about it. I couldn't figure out how he knew so much about it since we haven't seen it. Wanna guess? Commercials. Yep.

Sarah is the one who has really cracked me up. She is so my daughter. She nows tells us at least 4 times a day things that we need. Like certain cleaning products or shoes. I knew we were in trouble the other night when she told me, "There's this bumping thing that goes in your hair. (and she demonstrated what it does)We need that." My absolute favorite was the day she came into the room and told me, "There's this place, where if you're having trouble concentrating at school you can go there and they will help you. It's called Sylvan." Oh my word. Can I just tell you there is nothing that will validate your homeschooling abilities like your 7 year old wanting to go to Sylvan. Really, the penny sized confidence I had in my abilities is GONE!!!

I don't know what to say, she gets it honest. If I am totally isolated from commercials and stores I'm fine. I'm perfectly content with what I have. But you show me a perfect potato peeler and I HAVE GOT TO HAVE IT! I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT! The other night I was watching QVC (because commercial time is the perfect amount of time to watch another show, right?) They were demonstrating this pilates machine and I informed Josh that I *really* needed it. I mean, seriously, it would look totally cute in the storage shed next to my Leg Magic. Have no fear. Josh had a tight grip on his wallet, the phone and the laptop. My man knows me well. This longing shall pass. And besides, we've got to save up for bump-its. And that new Kaboom foam cleaner. Have you seen it? It changes colors when it is done cleaning! And we may have to take out a loan for Sylvan....

What is your favorite AS SEEN ON TV product? Please tell me! I will probably want it too. :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Clothes for Easter

My heart is so full tonight I feel like it might burst! Today was absolutely beautiful, I got to sit in the pew with my Mama, brother, and father-in-law and listen to Josh preach the amazing Gospel and be encouraged to marvel at what this day signifies. I cooked my first full holiday meal for family. We had ham, hashbrown casserole, baby carrots (I got the recipe from Cracker Barrel!!), green bean casserole, fruit salad and rolls. And what was left of the stuffed eggs that Kate didn't eat yesterday. :) We finished with banana pudding and pineapple pound cake. It was my first cake from scratch AND it came out of the pan in one piece! That is a first too! When I told Josh it was made from scratch you should have seen the look on his face. TOTAL SHOCK. He said, "It looks like a cake and it smells like a cake." Again, utter amazement. Praise the Lord, it tasted like a cake too! We were sad that Josh's Mom and Grandma got sick at the last minute and weren't able to be with us. We are looking forward to them feeling better. They have to feel better soon because Josh's sister, Leah is coming for a visit from Italy this week!

My Mama came bearing gifts for the kids. I feel the obligation to eat ALL of the candy tonight so that we will not be tempted for days to come. :) She also brought me beautiful yellow tulips. I love tulips and the color yellow so I thought they were perfect. After dinner we loaded up and headed to the beach to fly kites, play in the sand, and even in the water. I didn't play in the water because I thought it was freezing. And I don't have a swimsuit right now. I'm sure my swimsuit issues will become a whole series of posts on this blog. Aren't you excited? :) I couldn't believe the way my kids enjoyed the water! Sarah and Eli used to be terrified of it and besides it was FREEZING! Did I mention that? So, Josh and Phil flew the Barbie kite (don't ask) and Mom played in the water with the kids. I pretty much laid on the blanket and told them to wake me up if the kids fell in. At one point I had a towel over my face and when I took it off the sun was too bright for me to see. I said, "I can't see!" and Eli answered, "You have a towel on your head." What did I do before kids?

I have to admit that the last couple of days I've felt spoiled rotten. Friday Josh kept the kids so I could do the shopping for their Easter baskets. I also worked in a haircut and it was so nice. Do you know you're a mom when you consider going to Wal-Mart by yourself to grocery shop being spoiled rotten? Well, anyway, I was thinking about how spoiled I've felt and started feeling guilty about how excited I've been about the kids new Easter clothes. I was starting to feel like I've become one of those people who becomes so caught up in the meals, and baskets, and clothes. But, I felt like it was okay. For some reason I have just been extra excited about this Easter. I really expected it to be hard, our first one without my Dad. But the truth is that the fact that Jesus gained victory over death is the only hope I have. I had a new reason to celebrate this Easter. Because He lives He fulfilled His promise to go and prepare a place for those who believe in Him. (John 14:2) Because He lives, my Daddy lives with Him. Y'all I can't explain the joy that filled my heart today.

In addition to that, I felt His presence in a fresh way while all 5 of us were gathered in my bedroom getting ready this morning. Everybody had new clothes. The girls had new shoes and gloves and hairbows. As we took off price tags, tied shoes, and fixed hair I suddenly felt like God was giving me a picture of what this day means for those of us who believe. It's a new life. As exciting as new shoes and dresses and lacy socks are, how much more exciting is it that He promises us a new LIFE! A fresh start.

20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24

In the words of Paul and Patti Labelle, we need a new attitude! And Jesus offers it. But first we have to be willing to take off the old life. This morning Kate was desperate to put on her gloves and her shoes. With her soaking wet pull-up and nightshirt. I kept telling her, "You have to take off your pajamas first!" Her gorgeous dress would have looked pretty funny with her t-shirt underneath it. And let's not even talk about what would have happened if I had left her in her "stinkin' wet" pull-up. The truth is we do the same thing spiritually. We want the new life Jesus offers, but we try to put it on top of our old life and it just doesn't work.

Colossians 3:12 tells us what our new wardrobe should consist of:

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
How I pray that not just on this Easter Sunday, but on every day that I would wake up ready for my new "clothes"!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover: We Couldn't Walk Through the Playroom Edition

Here it is, the moment we've all been waiting for!! Okay, maybe it was just me. Here is the grand reveal....

First, we have the table and chairs for the playroom. I guess I never got a before shot, but imagine it a pale yellow with kid grafitti all over it and some chipped paint. I got this table at Montrose Day the first year we were there and I have been so happy with it. I am really excited now that it has a fresh coat of paint and a chalkboard top! I haven't told the kids yet, I'm enjoying how clean it is for a minute....

Now let's talk about this bookcase. It was my Dad's that he kept pictures and all kinds of stuff on and I am so happy to have it full of my kid's books and toys now. I think he would like that. I have edited both of these pictures 5 times a piece and they are still sideways! Oh well, that gives you a little clue as to how Josh and I are feeling after our Extreme Makeover Extreme Workout!! :)

So, the color on the bottom is the green I was going for. However, I ran out of paint and couldn't get back into Panama City to get a new can, so I had to go with what I thought was closest at the hardware store here. We will talk about that little experience in a minute....

Because I am a total doofus when it comes to uploading pics on blogger, we will digress from the bookcase for a minute and talk about this dresser. This is a dresser I got for $75 dollars at a store in Louin, Ms. Josh thought I was crazy, but to me it just had potential written all over it. We put a new coat of white paint on it and changed the the hardware to black knobs and handles and I am so thrilled with it! It is so great in the playroom because it provides so much storage for games and dress-up clothes and stuff like that.

Now, back to the bookcase. As you can see in the playroom after picture, it is not lime green. It is what I have termed "HOOAH!" green. Seriously, when Josh set it up and put the black boxes (I used that spray paint for plastic and it really worked!) my first thought was that I had unknowingly created an Army barrick for my kids. I am still not crazy about that green, but it will grow on me. I've decided my kids are going into Mama's Bootcamp. Don't be surprised if my kids leave their toys out and I go in screaming "DROP AND GIVE ME 50!!"
We want to paint the walls white, but we will have to get permission from the church and some energy. :)

Finally, the part that I am SOOOO excited about! My china cabinet!

We stained the china cabinet red mahogany and Josh painted the inside Richmond Bisque. I wasn't sure about painting the inside when Josh suggested it but now I am so glad we did. It is a really great contrast. We also put new hardware on the drawers and doors. And as if I weren't excited enough about the cabinet, I FINALLY got to display my beautiful bowl from Italy that my sweet SIL Leah and her husband Brad sent us from Italy for Christmas. I'm not kidding, I had only taken it out of the box once to look at it! I finally feel like it has a safe home now. :)
Here is a pic of our dining room. It finally feels complete!
I will wrap up this edition of Extreme Home Makeover with a little story that will leave many of you saying, "I told you so!" I had all of my pretty, breakable things taken in the box straight to storage so they wouldn't get broken in our house before the china cabinet got here. Well, yesterday when I went to get my pretty things there was the most putrid smell. Putrid. I've heard people use that word, but yesterday was the first time I experienced a smell best described by it. I knew what it was right away. A dead rodent. In my box of pretty stuff. Y'all there were maggots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was like CSI: Port St. Joe. I know many of you predicted that our rodent friends would find a way to Florida and I just thought I should let you have your moment. Go ahead....say it. You told me so.