Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday- On The Road Again

* I feel like I should start this by having a confessional moment. I've started drinking caffeine again. Judge me if you will. It's just been one of those weeks for like 3 weeks now. Know what I mean?

* And what I mean is that I feel like I've been running like the Energizer Bunny, only less energetically and surrounded by lots of other Energizer bunnies who are more energetic.

* Josh and I discovered we have a karaoke channel and we now sit around and sing at night before bed. It would be a Partridge family moment, if a. I could sing and b. we weren't singing things like "Dirt Road Anthem" or "Sweet Home Alabama".

* So, we've started designing a set for our theatre production and I think I would rather have a root canal. Josh is actually the mastermind behind it all and he is incredibly artistic and I think it's going to be totally cool. If we can just get it finished. We've come up with this grand plan of painting 3 different scenes and putting them on stacks of boxes where we will just turn the boxes for each scene. Does that make sense?  Last night we were up at 11:00 tracing his drawings on huge butcher paper. Today, I drove the church van to pick up all the kids and bring them back to the church to start painting. As we got in the van the girl in the front started singing, "On the Road Again". Then, the van full switched to "Baby, baby, baby, OH!" (What is it with me and that song????) and finally they finished with "Don't Worry Be Happy." And I realized that song is like, an oldie to them. I am both enamored and totally frustrated with this group of middle schoolers. My boss calls them my "breakfast club".  They are very unique and creative and yet still middle schoolers. On the way back to the studio they serenaded me with a VERY dramatic version of Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts". It was very moving. And I'm sure we were quite a sight at the red light.

* So, since I've admitted I have totally fallen off the diet wagon I should also tell you that my husband is out right now trying to procure some fried pickles for me. Sad. So sad. I asked him how it feels to have a wife who is always hormonally pregnant, but no longer producing babies. Seriously, that's how my hormones make me feel. But he can't even mark the days off on a calendar. Bless his heart....

* We leave Friday after Theatre class for our anniversary getaway. My Mom is getting the kids tomorrow. My brain started vacation on Monday. Here's hoping I can fake it for a couple more days....

* I'm getting ready to watch a new episode of "Dance Moms". Have y'all seen this show. I'm both disgusted and fascinated. I guess I mostly just stay fascinated by people who can treat other people like they are something they stepped in and those people put up with it. What is up with that?  And I worry this show is going to start making the "Toddlers and Tiaras" moms look good......

* Well, I guess I'll mosey on now that I've confessed I'm addicted to eating, watching and listening to junk. :) Hop on over to Everyday the Wonderful Happens and link up!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Smelly Tuesday

I need to talk, y'all. It's been a day. First, we ran out of everything. I mean, EVERY.THING. I've been so past due for a run to town,  but that's a 45 minute trip for us and with our schedules and 3 youngins, I liken it to having to giddy up the horses and hook up the wagon. Okay, maybe I'm a little dramatic. Anyway, let me tell you what I was out of. Laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, perfume and toothpaste. Well, I wasn't completely out of toothpaste, but it was at the "put it on the floor and jump on it to get the last squeeze" phase. That's a bad combo of things to be out of, don't ya think? 

So, my plan was to run to the bank, run by CVS and pick up laundry detergent, run home, throw a load of clothes in, then run to Panama City where I had to run by 5 stores. And seriously, I mean run, because I had to get back in time for my classes this afternoon. Well, I followed that plan, but let me tell you, I did it in a monsoon. I am not even kidding. I got SOAKED. I literally looked like I had just washed my hair. Which of course I hadn't, because I was out of shampoo and conditioner, remember? After I ran home to do a load of laundry I realized I really needed gas. Like, bad. I had to stop at our closest station which just happens to be 15 cents more expensive than anywhere else in the free world. I waded through the parking lot to pay and the lady reminded me that she couldn't set the pump. Guess what that meant? Yep, I went over 3 cents. So, I waded back inside to drop off my pennies.

My first shopping stop was very successful. I found things I needed and got on out of there. Then, I went to T.J. Maxx to look for the perfect jeans. I am always searching for the perfect jeans. Well, apparently jeans are not something other people are looking for right now unless they are in junior sizes. I found ONE pair of jeans in my size and they were on clearance for $15! Woo-hoo! I had another hallelujah moment when they were just a tad loose in the waist. I looked at the tag and realized they were actually a size smaller than I have been wearing! I would have done a toe touch or a cartwheel had there been room, but there wasn't. Before you hate me or think I'm bragging, I must tell you that I had just suffered a traumatic jeans experience with a pair that were a size BIGGER and wouldn't come up over my calf muscles. So go figure. I've given up on trying to figure out sizes. I just celebrate when I find a pair that will fit over my hips. Because let me tell you, I have learned that it does not matter what size  I am, I'm still the same shape. As in, I have one and  most jeans seem designed for people who are built like stick figures. Is it just me? I have lost a good bit of weight, but it can still be discouraging. My sister and I  have had many discussions about the fact that after  you have a baby you may lose the weight, but it don't look the same. Know what I'm sayin'? Don't get me wrong, I've seen those girls who have children and then just pop right back into shape. And I spend much time in prayer that I will not grow bitter towards them. Obviously  they didn't crave honey buns during their pregnancies. Or, they are just genetically designed that way. And I'm okay with that. I was blessed with the ability to make lasagne and remember every song from the 80's and other women are born with perfect bodies. It's cool. It all works out, right?

So, my next stop was for perfume. For senior prom I wore Rapture from Victoria's Secret and it is absolutely Josh's favorite. I just know that one day they are going to discontinue it and I always feel like I should stockpile. At armegeddon some people will have food, I will have perfume. Anyway, I hate going in Victoria's Secret. Does anybody else? I used to be embarrassed, but now I'm just annoyed. Again, I planned to run in, run out. All was great until the lady in front of me had two gift cards and 83 pairs of underwear and two seperate transactions and who knows what else was going on up there. I just knew I stood in line for at least 10 minutes (which equals 5 hours in line standing time) and I was SO thankful I did not have an armful of skimpy skivies like the lady behind me. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the things in Victoria's Secret. And yes, even preacher's wives have to wear underwear. I just get annoyed by all of the women in the ads all over the place. I use to just feel bad for what a visual assault it is for guys who might actually try NOT to look at half-naked women. But, as I stood in line staring at a pic of one of those girls who got the perfect body gene, I also felt frustrated for all the women. Because honestly, none of us in the store look like her. Where are the models that say, "Here is what your mummy tummy will look like in these panties" or "This is the best bra to lift up what gravity and nursing have done wrong."  Perhaps a new campain could be "Fittings for the Freshman 15". I don't know. I just had to spend way too much time hanging out in VS today.

Finally, I got out of there and made my last few stops. And I sprayed myself with perfume out of kindness for those I would encounter in the next few stores. I got home just in time to get ready to head to the studio for my afternoon classes. When I got there I was assaulted. For real. I had girls run up to me and stick their hands in my face. They were using nail polish that is scented and wanted me to smell. Fabulous. I assured them I could smell it without them sticking their fingers up my nose. All during tap class I would look up and all the girls would have their fingers up to their nose sniffing them. Took me back in time.

Pic courtesy of PhotoBucket
BTW, someone once told me I reminded them of her, and that they didn't mean that in a bad way. I just still haven't figured out how they could mean it in a good way.....

On a more serious note, this is a tough week for us at the dance studio. Our studio owner has decided to move back closer to her family. Barbie will take over and the studio will be fine, but I am just seriously sad and going to miss her and her girls. It has come to my attention that everyone here that I grow to love or become friends with ends up moving. I'm starting to get a complex. Maybe I just really needed some new deodorant......

Friday, July 22, 2011

What Revival Looks Like

I have a question for those of you raised in church. What feelings, thoughts, or memories do revival services bring up for you? I'm just curious because we had our revival services this last week and I realized that it was totally different than any other revival I've experienced. I've heard people say they expect to cry a lot, or to sing a lot. If I can be completely honest, since going into ministry when I think of revival I think of cooking a lot. Growing up I never knew that different people feed the preacher and other special guests every night. And now, I wonder who will keep the nursery. Because those are extra nights that we don't have regular workers signed up. So, basically, what I'm saying is that going into revival, I was anticipating extra work. There, I admit it. I'm just being honest. And, I wasn't dreading it, but I had a moment when I decided this wouldn't be a spiritual time for me, just a time to cook and keep the nursery. That's a great start, right? To just decide from the get go that revival wouldn't be a spiritual time.

The truth is I did do some cooking. But, there were also many other church members who chipped in and did some cooking as well. And, I didn't have to keep the nursery one time, although I did sit on a pew with 13 kids one night. But, I LOVED it. Seriously. I feel like God really did a work on my heart and taught me that serving Him, even if it is washing the dishes or showing kiddos where to turn in the hymnal, is in fact a very spiritual time.

The greatest thing about this revival for me, was that our pastor preached it. Our pastor who married us. Our pastor who ordained Josh. Our pastor who dedicated two of our children and our pastor who comforted me at the hospital while I waited for news about my Daddy. We have a history and when I think of people who have influenced Josh and I the most, he and his wife are high on the list. Not only did we have OUR pastor, but quite a few of our "church family" from P.C. were able to attend. Josh's grandma and two of her friends. Their music minister and his wife. Josh's dad and our friend, Scott, who is so close we call him "Uncle Scott".  Our friends Dave and Cindi even surprised us with a visit and we enjoyed talking late into the night with them. They have just started a new church plant and there is just something about being able to share with other ministry friends who understand your joys and your sorrows.

Bro. Randy preached sermons that challenged me and then these special people encouraged me. Just their presence. Just the Spirit within them. Wednesday I drove Sarah around and she passed out fliers for the kids night. We ended up having 25 kids and almost all of them were kids she invited. We even had 3 from theater class come and parents as well. There was just an excitement in the air. Kids bring that!

This last week was physically busy. In addition to working and the church services, and the fellowship afterwards that would usually last well past bedtime, I couldn't sleep! I was just too excited. My body was tired, but my spirit was full and excited!

As I think about this week I am so thankful for words of encouragement, prayer, and friendships with those who share the same passions, burdens and callings. I am just overwhelmed by the love and the amazing influences that Josh and I have had in our lives. People who have seen us through the worst of times and the best of times. People who have played a pivotal part in the life of our ministry, even if they don't realize it. Scott  held a prayer meeting for me during my depression and 2 years later, I was healed. Dave was a faithful prayer partner for Josh and when Josh shared his calling to ministry, Dave said, "Why not now?"  And here we are. :) 

Ministry is not easy. It never has been, but especially in the times we are in now, it's hard. I don't say that in a self-pitying, woe is us kind of way. I say that in a matter of fact, that's the truth kind of way.  Pastors are not respected the way they once were. (And yes, I know many pastors have not done much to help in that.) People do not see church as important in their lives. If we're honest, most people see religion as a joke these days. It is so easy to be discouraged. To work and feel like it doesn't make a difference. To care about people and be burnt or hurt. To just become totally apathetic and lazy. But then, there are those moments. The moments when you see a glimmer of hope, a sliver of a chance that change is coming. And it is enough to keep you going just a little bit longer.

I am taking the words of 2 Samuel 30:6 to heart and I will be like David who "strengthened himself in the LORD his God."

And thanks to some sweet fellowship I will keep going.

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

* I'm tired. But in a really good way. I've had 19 different people in my house since last Thursday, taught 5 dance and theater classes, hosted a birthday breakfast, lunch and dinner (and Sarah's "real" party is this Friday), been to 5 church services and sat with 13 kids during church tonight. Throw in 25 loads of laundry, passing out fliers for our pizza party tonight and making sure my house stayed presentable everyday equals one tired Mama. But it's been TOTALLY worth it!

* Josh doesn't understand why I freak out over what the house looks like. Is it girl thing? I don't think I'm OCD by any means. I mean, really, is it too much to want to be able to walk into a room without breaking your ankle? I guess I just expect too much. Speaking of that, tomorrow we are holding classes. They will include: How to close your dresser drawer:101. How to put the clothes back in your drawer and then close it:102. How to take the trash out instead of watching trash fall all over the floor because it is so full. And finally, There is no magic toilet flushing fairy.

* Truth is, I know that my children's laziness comes from me. It occured to me the other day that I prefer the toothpaste tubes that have the snap caps. Really, it is too much work to take it off, keep up with it, and put it back. Don't you agree?

* Tonight, 3 of my theater kids came to do a skit at our church. I was so excited! I'm just loving those classes. They are the most entertaining part of my week. The other day we were playing a game where they have to create a scene. For example: someone starts out and says, "I'm a tree" and poses like a tree. Then, somebody else says, "I'm a bench under the tree" and then the next person, "I'm a person on the bench" and so on and so forth. Well, that was the example I gave them. Do you know what they came up with? A penguin, an animal eating the pengquin, a belly dancing penguin and the national geographic videographer. Seriously, they crack me up.

* Next weekend Josh and I are going somewhere. We're not sure where yet. But we can't get there soon enough. :)

* Apparently this is bug bite season. All my children and girls at dance have incapacitating bug bites. Who knew they were so brutal?

* I hope I just used incapacitating correctly. That is a big word for me.

* Josh just put on a movie with Hulk Hogan from 1991. I'm so glad we pay for cable.

* Okay, I'm done. What have you been up to?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Kate From Kansas

Sometimes, the coolest things happen. Like, you start writing a blog just for the fun of it and 3 people read it. It goes from being fun, to being a journal of your everyday life, and then eventually becomes your therapy. And for some reason, other people read it. I figure they are either really bored or my crazy life makes them feel highly superior. I get that.  Then, somehow, 5 years later, you get the chance to meet someone who only knows you through that blog. And you are reminded that you serve a God who orchestrates lives and relationships in very intricate ways.

You may remember from another post that I told you about a girl named Kate. Kate used to take dance from the other teacher I work with Barbie, and she found my blog through our dance studio page on Facebook. We began e-mailing and then texting and now, I totally feel like she is part of our family. The thing is, we had never actually met in real life. Well, last week, we had that opportunity. Kate came down to Florida to visit her former dance teacher and I rescued her from 3 hours of hip hop by inviting her to hang out at our house last Thursday. I was a little nervous. This is the second time I've been able to meet someone who reads my blog and it is really nerve-wracking. Especially since she was coming to my house, meeting my family, seeing my world. I was sure our real life would be a huge disappointment. I'm not sure why I felt that way. Let's face it, it's not like I give y'all the Ladie's Home Journal version of my life by any means. But still, we're pretty boring.

She got to our house and I immediately hugged her. Because I'm a hugger. You can ask our church people. They try to shake my hand but I always hug them. It's just what I do. She had literally been in our house all of 5 minutes when my kids busted out the dance recital video for her to watch. Fabulous. If only we had some home video of a camping trip or something else as equally exciting. :) It was cool though. It was just like we've all known her forever. My kids adored her. She sat at the dining room table and drew pictures with them while I fixed supper and in that moment I decided I need her to move in with  me and be my nanny.

She came to church with us on Sunday and then spent the afternoon playing Barbie's with my kids (I feel I should add here that Eli played with Lego men) and watching movies in the playroom. I officially decided then that she needs to become my Nanny and began to tell her that if she moved in with us this year (she's about to be a junior in high school) that she will be eligible for in-state tuition when it's time for college. She wants to go to a Florida school so I just think it is the perfect plan. :)

Sadly, Kate from Kansas had to go home today and it was an emotional time. My Kate started crying her eyes out this morning and said, "Mrs. Barbie's Kate had to go to her house and I wanted to see her!" Then she told me tonight that she wanted the other Kate to go to church with us again tonight. Those two have a connection, for sure.

Tonight at our revival service the preacher talked about how God used ordinary people and ordinary things to do the extraordinary. I know that I am extremely ordinary. My life is as routine and run of the mill as they come. I still have no idea what caused Kate to follow my blog or want to meet me. I just know that our connection is extraordinary and the kind that only God can create. She has spoken sweet words of encouragement to my soul many times. She has sought my advice and allowed me to pretend to be wise. :)  I look at her and see myself 15 years ago and pray that God will use me to help her deal with growing pains and boys. Mostly, she teaches me and helps me. So, she's gonna be WAY smart by the time she is my age. :)

                                       She is also a superstar dancer and has awesome hair. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dreaming of Daddy

Last night, I dreamt about my Daddy. Well, he was there. It was one of those dreams that I couldn't really tell you what was going on, but at the point I remember it starting, I walked into a basement feeling really stressed out. Like there were a bunch of people after me or things I needed to accomplish hanging over my head. It was a nice, carpeted basement. All of a sudden, my Dad was there and I didn't feel stressed anymore. I felt totally at peace. I've had several dreams that my Dad was in and I would always get this peaceful feeling. But he never talked to me. This time he talked to me. I can't remember what I asked him, but he told me he was doing a lot of dancing, cleaning and vacuuming. Right now, that absolutely cracks me up. But in my dream, it totally made sense. I shared that I was doing a lot of dancing, cleaning and vacuuming, too.

I pondered this dream when I woke up and realized that obviously, I've been doing too much dancing, cleaning and vacuuming! I also realized that one of the things I miss about my dad is his understanding. Somehow he always made me feel like he totally understood what was going on with me, even if what I was going through were things he had never personally experienced. For example, toward the end of my pregnancy with Sarah we had moved back to Panama City. Josh was supposed to be getting a transfer, but his boss was dragging his feet and I was starting to think Josh and I were never going to live together again. I was so frustrated. One night, I threw a temper tantrum that would make a 2 year old blush while my Dad was at my house. What he shoulda done was put my  big, pregnant butt in time-out (Seriously, I acted like a 2 year old). He didn't. I apologized for how I acted and he said, "You're pregnant, you're hormonal and you miss your husband."  And that was it. He got it. And I felt better that somebody understood. Even if he had no clue what it felt like to be pregnant or hormonal or missing a husband.

                                   Today, I found this picture of my Dad and it made me laugh.
                                              That's my Daddy. I miss him.

Friday, July 15, 2011

You Make Me Smile

Last night as I lay in bed searching for sleep, I became a tad bit emotional. My firstborn is 9 today, and that led to the realization that next year she will be 10. And then 11. And then, well, she's just not going to be a little girl anymore. I've never wanted to grieve my children getting older. It's what they're supposed to do. I do look forward to seeing who Sarah becomes in every season of her life. But, it still made me a little weepy as I thought about getting her a doll and going to the park and doing things that she won't want to do in just a few years. Reminds me to make the most of it now!

I also couldn't help thinking about where I was 9 years ago. Funny that I remember. I was up, too excited to sleep, painting my toe nails. And that was no easy feat. I was gigantuan pregnant. Seriously. I got huge with my pregnancies. But I was determined my toe nails would be painted. I was hanging out with our cocker spaniel, Abby, watching "The Other Sister". The next night I headed to the hospital to be induced. They hooked me up to all kinds of machines and we listened to Sarah hiccup the night away. I had felt her do it inside of me for months, but that was Josh's first experience. At that point the machines would show that I was having contractions but I couldn't really feel them yet. We would get so excited. Then, I started feeling them and Josh would watch the machines like a hawk and say, "Whoa, that was a big one!" He learned quickly that, yes, I knew it was a big one. :)

I've shared often what a tough first year that was for me. For many reasons. Sarah had colic and many of my sleep-deprived memories are of both of us in the rocking chair crying. But as the years have passed I find myself finding new memories of that first year. And I remember that in the midst of some bitter times, there were some really sweet ones, too. Mostly, that during one of the hardest times of my life, Sarah could make me smile.

Sarah Beth Fidler, I am so in love with you! You came into this world with your own personality and your own sense of style. You showed me right away that you were not a miniature clone of me or your Daddy. You are your own person, specially designed by a Heavenly Father who knew exactly what He was doing. You were 2 months old the first time you laughed out loud. I mean LAUGHED OUT LOUD! I was feeding you in the bed and Abby jumped up in there with us and started circling like crazy trying to get comfortable. You stopped eating (something you NEVER did! You sucked a bottle dry without stopping) and watched her. Next thing I knew you were laughing hysterically. I had read all of the books and did not expect anything beyond gassy smiles at that point. But there you were, and you had a sense of humor! Praise the Lord, it is a necessary trait in this family!

Another favorite memory of mine was when you were 8 or 9 months old. You had started standing up in your crib and thought you were big stuff. I went in to change you and started coughing. You thought it was hilarious. You would mock me and cough every time I did and then laugh. You were such a silly goose!

You loved the Toby Keith song, "Who's Your Daddy?" and if I would sing it to you it would cause you to cackle. I mean laugh uncontrollably.

I had never experienced the feeling it would give me to see or hear you laugh or smile. Pure joy. I still feel that way. You give me so many reasons to smile. You are so kind and compassionate, thoughtful, and a great friend. You are bright and creative and a nurturer. I was trying to decide if I thought you would become a missionary or a party planner and it came to me that I could totally see you as a missionary who plans parties for people when they ask Jesus into their hearts. That would be THE job for Sarah Beth Fidler.The world is a better place because you are here. I am so proud to be your Mom and you are living proof that kids can turn out okay even when their Mamas are crazy and have no idea what they're doing.

Happy Birthday Sarah! You make me smile!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Crazy Good

Howdy blog world! I sure do hope your week has gotten off to a good start. Or that at least  you survived. For me this Monday represented a big ol' bundle of emotions. Stress, excitement, anxiety, exhaustion, giddiness, you  name it, I was bracing myself for a hurricane of emotions. I'll have to go back to Friday to explain.

First, I began a rainy Friday morning with a meeting at our local bookstore/coffeehouse. We had a break from dance last week, but in the last few hours of class the week before, I was offered another job. A local non-profit here was awarded a grant to provide different classes for any child in our community free of charge. They are offering pottery, World of Color, World of Dance and World of Theatre. This session they needed  a theatre teacher and somehow, I got the job. Perhaps one day I will write a book called, "How to Change Your Major 3 Times in College and Still End Up Doing Something That Has Nothing To Do With Any of Them." What do you think? Too long? Anyway, it's a 4 week deal and awesome blessing from God. So, I had planned to work on lesson plans over the weekend when I got a phone call requesting I meet with the lady who was hiring me to discuss my plans with her on Friday morning. Oops. I had to come up with a plan! Our meeting left me both excited and full of anxiety. Because it is new. And different. Does that happen to anybody else?

After the meeting we all loaded up and headed to Panama City to unload children. Sarah was spending the night with Josh's parents to celebrate her birthday with them and Eli was going to Georgia with my Mom and brother to attend my nephew's birthday party. For four nights and 3 days. I've never been away from him that long and he'd never spent the night away by himself without the girls. I was a bundle of nerves. I had also dropped Josh off to have lunch with our former pastor who will soon be preaching our revival services. So, Kate and I picked up some lunch and headed to the park. I enjoyed having some one on one time with my babygirl.

Saturday I loaded up and drove to P.C. to pick up Sarah. We were on our way to Milton to attend my friend's birthday party. The one with the big hats. Sarah was all dressed up in her new dress and hat and T had curled her hair and put some blush and lipstick on her. She also showed me her new mani/pedi which was her gift from Aunt Leah. I was pretty jealous. I had tried to paint my nails the night before but couldn't sit still long enough for them to dry. I finally ended up taking it off.  We got our prissy selves in the jeep and headed out. All was well until we turned onto HWY 331 at Freeport. I still don't know what was going on, but we literally went 20 miles in an hour. It was during that time that I decided to put a clear coat of nail polish on my nails. Yes, we were really that stuck in traffic.

It was totally worth it once we got to the party (and only 10 minutes late, btw!).  I've known my friend, Kim, since high school and we have experienced so many of life's big events together. We both fell in love with our high school sweethearts at the same time, my friends gave me a lingerie shower at her house, we were at each other's weddings (I was actually the coordinator at hers!), she and her Mom were in the labor room when I was having Sarah. I'll never forget it. I was trying so hard to be polite and have a conversation with them, but eventually the contractions won out. When my Dad passed away Kim and her family drove hours to come visit and check on us. So, what I'm saying is, we've shared some big moments together. I was excited to be a part of her big day.
It was such a great party. Sarah and I did our best to act like ladies. But let me tell you, it's harder than it looks. On the way to the party Sarah asked if I had any polish remover. I thought that was a ridiculous question until I thought about how she had watched me paint my nails in a traffic jam. Yes, my child had already chipped her new manicure. Then, as we walked through the parking lot she told me her dress was ripped. And it was. I immediately had a flashback to her 2 year old Easter pictures when she literally ripped the entire sheer overlay off of her dress. This time it was an accident. But still....All was fine until we were seated at a table with fine china and real crystal. Thankfully, we didn't break anything, but I did manage to spill a drop of my punch on the white cloth tablecloth. Then, we were changing before making the 3 and 1/2 hour drive home and Sarah dropped her shorts in the toilet. I tell ya what, you can't take us nowhere! :)

Kim's Daddy cried as he blessed the food and thanked God for his daughter. Then Kim gave a speech and talked about all of the women there and what they represented in her life. I about couldn't take it. If they had kept that up I would've  had that white tablecloth covered in mascara and snot.

Sunday, I was in the nursery. I had 3 sweet girls during Sunday School and then Sarah joined us for big church. It occurred to me as I rocked and watched them play and color and sing that I couldn't help but worship a God who took so much time and invested so much in creating such unique, special little beings. Awesome! I was a heathen preacher's wife and missed church last night. I took a nap and Josh just let me keep sleeping! I guess he just did not want to encounter my wrath if he woke me up. I don't blame him. I don't wake up well.

I woke up this morning a bundle of nerves. My new boss was supposed to be coming to my class today and for some reason that just really stressed me out. The thing about teaching theatre is that if you don't know the kids, you don't know how the activities you've planned will go. What if they just stood around and refused to do anything or told me it was the dumbest thing ever? That was what I was prepared for. It turned out that I have some really great kids and they embraced everything I asked them to do and I finally had to tell them it was 5 minutes past time for class to be over and I had to get ready for my dance class. I had so much fun. It almost feels wrong that I get paid to do such fun stuff!

After my dance classes tonight we headed back to Panama City to make a hospital visit and to pick up Eli from my Mom's. He ran up and jumped into my arms! It is so good to have him back home!

My heart is just full. Sometimes life feels crazy. And sometimes, it feels crazy good.

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence."

---Psalms 16: 11

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

* Today Kate broke my favorite coffee mug. I don't even drink coffee, but I loved that coffee cup. I had a moment. I told Josh, for the 35th billion time, that I just can't have nice things. While I was going off I pointed out that soon all we will have left is our tacky, obnoxious, plastic Christmas cups. I have six of them. It hit me. I declared, "When I die, this will be all I have left to put in my will. The Christmas cups!"  I'm glad I have six so the kids won't fight over them. :)

*My lips keep getting thinner. Is this part of aging? Like I've heard your nose keeps growing throughout your life. That's bad news for me. But do your lips keep getting smaller, too? I'm going to be one weird looking old person, y'all.

* I love CVS bucks. I got some Tide for $1.99 today! Woo-hoo! It's for 30 loads so that should last me about 2 days....

* Last summer a boy from our neighborhood got saved at our VBS. Then, he moved. He came back to visit a few months back and made sure to come by to see us. He's been visiting for the last week and has gone to church with us everytime the doors have been open. Today he told me he's moving back and he said, "Now I can go to church everyday!" He was so excited, but not as excited as me. That is music to this preacher's wive's ears!

* In other exciting news, I almost burnt the church down tonight. I took a candle to use as my illustration as we talked about being the light of the world. I had just lit the candle and set it on the table to start the lesson when one of the kids pushed the crayon box across the table RIGHT INTO THE CANDLE!!!! It started sliding and thankfully I have awesome, superpower, Mom reflexes so I caught it. Whew!

* My firstborn has always been an interior decorator. She has her own style. I've tried desperately for years to decorate her room in pretty pictures, accessories and bedding. She has for years now taken wall decorations down, decorated her bedding with nail polish or permanent markers, or repurposed her furniture for purposes I don't understand. Today, I discovered yet another glimpse at her decorating. Check this out.
In case you can't tell, that is Prince William and Kate. Right in the middle of my pretty, little girl pictures. That's my Sarah for you! If you are a Mom who gets to decorate your children's rooms beautifully and admire your  interior decorating skills, enjoy it. And think of me. And Will and Kate.

* Today I ordered the American Girl doll for Sarah's birthday that she has been asking for for a full year now. I couldn't put it off anymore. It's all she has wanted. Do you know American Girl doll clothes cost more than I spend on my own?  I may have to send this doll out to make appearances for me.....

* My house smells like boys. I've had at least 5 boys in my house for the last few days and they are just smellier than girls. Is it rude to ask people if you can Febreze them?

* I am so excited because I am taking Sarah to a tea party my friend is having to celebrate her 30th birthday. We are supposed to wear sundresses and big hats! Am I the only person who loves a good reason to dress up and wear big hats??

Welp, that's about it for now. What randomness is happening in your life? Head over to Everyday the Wonderful Happens and let us know!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Fidler Five Do Fireworks on the Fourth

Yesterday we had plans to go to the beach. We didn't. Instead, Eli decided to crawl up on the couch with me and watch a Cake Boss marathon. He loves that show. I loved that he wanted to lay next to me and let me scratch his head. Josh had planned to grill some fish he had caught and I was real excited about that. He marinates the fish in Italian dressing and then wraps it in bacon. Yum! I thought we were just going to do a couple of easy sides, but after the Cake Boss marathon Josh felt inspired to make a cake he had seen online. He ran to the store. He came back with stuff to make fried green tomatoes, home fries, and onion rings. And a cake. I've obviously fallen off the wagon with my diet this weekend. We got busy chopping onions, slicing potatoes, and mixing cake batter. It was all delicious and I was way impressed with how Josh's cake turned out. My responsibilities for the cake included getting the cakes out of the oven when they were done and putting the blue food  coloring in. My cake turned out green. At least on the outside. We were relieved that it was blue inside. Here is Josh's creation. He's so much more domesticated than  me.

Despite the fact that the fireworks weren't starting until 9:30 here and we had pretty much done nothing all day, we still managed to leave late. We found a spot just a little bit down from where we were last year, but it wasn't on the rocks. Sarah was so put out. I was a little relieved because as pretty as our spot was last year, I was a nervous wreck with 3 kids on rocks by the water!  We got there late enough to not get the right spot, but early enough for our kids to be bored out of their minds. I got this picture....

It went downhill from there. Sarah was still upset we didn't get the special spot and she did not want pictures taken. Here's Eli trying to  make her smile.

Then, I guess he gave up.

The kids kept telling us how bored they were and telling me about the kids on the other side of us who had really cool toys and glow sticks. So, I busted out the games. "I Spy". "Patty Cake". I'm pretty much the coolest mom ever. ;)
Here's the conversation heard on the Fidler blanket:
"I'm bored."
"The bugs are itching me."
"When is it gonna start?"
"I'm bored."
"I'm thirsty. Can we leave and go get a drink."
*Fireworks start
"When are they going to be over?"
"The bugs!!!!!!"
"I think they're over.'
"I can't find my shoes."
"I think they're going to last all night."

Finally, it is time to leave. As we drive over the bridge to go home we see more fireworks and Eli says, "This is the best day of my life!" And I think, 'Me, too!'

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This is Why We Have No Social Life

Guess my blogger's block is broken. Two posts in two days. Am I scaring y'all? Well, I just had to tell you about our experience yesterday before I forget any important details. And what I mean by important details are things like me asking, "Did you drop your chicken?" and things like that. You'll see.

So, yesterday the Fidler 5 did something we don't attempt often. We attempted to be social. The thing is, we stay pretty busy, but it usually revolves around church or the dance studio or t-ball. We just don't have much of a social life. Today I was reminded why. Josh told me Wednesday night that we had been invited to our music minister's farm to celebrate his birthday. A hard thing about being in ministry is choosing events to attend. We obviously can't attend every church member's birthday or family reunion or whatever else might be going on. But, we really wanted to attend this birthday party and celebrate with our music minister as he has been such a big help to us.

We started off by leaving an hour later than planned. Classy. I kept asking Josh what time the party was and he just kept saying, "Afternoon". Now, I'm not necessarily a super planner, need every detail kind of person, but, I don't know what the heck "afternoon" means. Do you? Anyway, we got on the road for the hour long trip and it was actually really pleasant. It rained on us for a minute, then it was gorgeous, the kids behaved and I was almost blissful. A weather warning came on the radio, but it was for a different county and when I said that meant it would hit us in a couple of hours Josh said it was headed in the opposite direction. I commented how glad I was the air was fixed because how miserable would this be if we couldn't roll the windows down? We drove for forever and a day. We finally found the road we were looking for and we later found out it had been paved all of 4 days. That would turn out to be very important. We eventually came to the dirt road we were supposed to go down, and y'all, it was so bumpy it knocked a wire loose and turned the air off!!!!!!!! We literally traveled to the ends of the earth and came to a dirt road that went 3 different directions. A "Choose your own adventure" so to speak. The one we chose took us right back where we started. Fun times. Josh finally just called Bro. Tom and we were soon getting out of the jeep and heading to the party.

We were told that everybody was down at the swimming hole. I didn't know there was a swimming hole. Another detail I missed out on. We didn't have swimsuits. Everybody told us we could just swim in our clothes and I knew once the kids heard that it would not matter what 80 million other excuses I came up with, they were swimming! We walked down a hill and found the coolest swimming hole ever. It was a creek that he had set up with a pool slide, pool ladder and rope swing. He even had a paddle boat! That was the only way they got me in. I rolled up my capris and hopped in that  thing. The rudder was broken so we used a shovel to steer. Ya might be a redneck...... :)  Josh and I somehow ended up with our 3 kids and some other little boy I've never met in my life headed down the  creek in a paddle boat. It was lots of fun.

Soon Kate had to go to the bathroom so we headed back up to the camphouse. I don't really know how to explain it. It's kind of an open air building with screening and big fans. It did have a bathroom and a kitchen. We ended up hanging out there for a while and visiting. Eventually everybody made there way back from the swimming hole and just in time! The BOTTOM.FELL.OUT! I was having a conversation and literally could not finish it because the rain was so loud on the tin roof. The power flickered on and off. We ate cake. The kids ate enough chicken wings to make them cluck. The weather just kept getting worse. It was lightening and I just kept thinking, 'It can't be safe for us to be sitting in metal chairs.' Then, I wondered what would happen if lightening hit a tin roof? And I wished I had paid more attention in science class. Anyway, Eli FREAKED OUT. I mean, screaming, carrying on freaked out. We kept trying to distract him and entertain him. Kate kept asking when they were going to open presents and I kept telling her it wasn't that kind of party. It finally got to the point that Eli was so upset we either had to leave or sedate him. We didn't have any tranquilizers so Josh took off in the pouring rain to get our jeep. I just kept thinking the air wasn't working and we would have to ride back with the windows up. Turns out Josh fixed the air and that we had left the windows down and the jeep was drenched anyway! We rode back with the heater on!!!!

It felt like it took Josh forever to come get us. When he came back he was SOAKED. The kids started running and I started apologizing to everyone for the drama of our traumatized child. I grabbed Kate and took off running. No easy feat, mind you. I practically threw her in the jeep and by this point she and Eli were both having hysterical crying fits. Eli was still scared. I really didn't think Kate was. That child is fearless. I asked her, "Did you drop your chicken wing?" And I immediately died laughing because the fact that dropping a chicken wing could cause such a fit of emotion most certainly proves she shares a significant amount of DNA with me. She said no, but was still inconsolable. I asked her again what was wrong. Still in hysterics she answered, "I wanted to see him open his presents!"  Bless her heart. Life is hard when you're 3.

I was still laughing at the thought of me haulin' my child through the rain with her chicken wing, when I realized....the jeep was stuck. In the mud. I mean, could not move. All I could do was laugh. Thankfully two of the men came out to push us out. And it was in that moment that I realized exactly why we have no social life. Between the anxiety attack and having to pushed out of the mud, not to mention my kids eating all the chicken wings, I think it is just safer if we stay home. Not only is it safer, but it is likely. I mean, who is going to invite us anywhere? Maybe if we check the weather report and promise to bring our own chicken??????

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Hard to be Hot

So, as my last post explained, Thursday was our anniversary. Our 10 year anniversary. A special occasion. A very special occasion. And what do special occasions call for? A new outfit, of course. Well, due to not having a vehicle and other scheduling conflicts, Wednesday night arrived and I had not had the chance to go shopping. I did get my Jeep back Wednesday afternoon, and let me tell you, I was itchin' to run the roads. It occured to me during an episode of great frustration and insanity earlier in the week that I had not been alone for more than an hour since the kids got out of school. That would be 5 weeks. Not only had I not been alone, I've also experienced VBS and dance camp in that time. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I require a good deal of alone, thinkin' time to function as a normal, healthy, non-screaming human being. That's just me. After Tueday night when Sarah and Kate both decided to hang out in the bathroom while I took my bath, I decided I just really needed more than 10 seconds to have a thought. With that said, when we got home from church Wednesday night (at 8:30), Josh told me he had errands to run the next day and I knew I wouldn't get my chance then. I had to go. Right.that.minute.

So, I did. I embarked on the 45 minute journey with an air conditioner and a radio. That's all I require people. We are on eastern time so it meant I would get to my destination at 8:30. It is great when we drive into Panama City, not so much coming back home. First, I went to Best Buy. I wanted to get Josh a Kindle and I was determined I was going to be a big girl and figure out that techie stuff all by myself. Whatever. I got in there and was totally lost. There are in fact 4 Kindles and the only difference I knew about was the price. I asked the BestBuy guy and he explained something to me about 3G and I was still lost. So, I just bought a nice cover and a card to buy the books with and decided I would give that to Josh and then let him go pick out the one he wanted later. Kind of lame, but the best I could do. Then, I had to find an outfit. I had checked and knew of a couple of stores that would still be open. One of them either had the wrong time on their website or I thought they were closed and they weren't. So, I headed to Kohl's. I had learned that they stay open until 11:00. Score! I usually love Kohl's and everything in it, but I just didn't have any luck. I looked. And looked. And tried stuff on. And looked some more. It didn't help that I wasn't really sure where we were going. I tried on dresses. I tried on capris. I had actually almost decided on some jean capris and a cute top when I thought better of it. I did find a jean jacket on clearance that I was really excited about, because I can wear it with anything. I put the capris and top back and was planning to check one more place and come back. As I walked out the door with my jean jacket I got a text from Josh saying we would probably go somewhere pretty nice. It also said he knew I would look hot in whatever. (Side note: I'm sorry if that is disturbing for anyone who sees Josh only as a pastor.)

Well, I drove down the road and THE OTHER STORE WAS CLOSED!!!! And we were going somewhere nice. And my husband wanted me to look hot. And all I had was a jean jacket!!!!! It was a high stress situation. I eventually had no choice but to turn around and go back to Kohl's. I turned around in a CVS parking lot and almost had a head on collision with a guy who looked like he might be selling pills, but not the kind you get at CVS if you know what I mean.  I got back to Kohl's with a new mission. To find a dress. I found one and took two different sizes to the fitting room. The lady who was working in the fitting room literally sighed the loudest sigh I have ever heard and rolled her eyes. There was a time when that would have made me feel really bad and I probably would have left the store crying. Not this night. I was on a mission. I wanted to tell her, "TOMORROW IS MY ANNIVERSARY AND MY HUSBAND WANTS ME TO LOOK HOT AND ALL I HAVE IS A JEAN JACKET!!!! SO BACK OFF!" I didn't say that. I just headed to the changing room and was reminded that it really doesn't matter what I wear, I am not the kind of girl that looks "hot" in anything. But at least perhaps, I could look presentable at a nice restaurant. So, finally at 10:30, which is 11:30 my time, I checked out with a dress and some shoes.

I pulled out of the parking lot and the gas light came on. Fabulous. I drove to the last gas station in existence and it was closed. It would be a 40 minute drive before the next one and I would never make it. So, I had to turn back around to find an open station. After I paid and came back out the guy next to me was blasting his stereo. Some hip hop. I started to tell him I've taught a few hip hop classes and ask if he wanted to see my moves. But, I didn't want to show off. ;)

I FINALLY got home. I tried on my dress and shoes and felt like an Amazon woman. I have honestly never owned such high heels before. Josh had mentioned us going to a movie after we ate and I went into panic mode again. There was no way I was wearing my Amazon heels to a movie. Would you believe me if I told you I took my jean jacket and some flats to change into after dinner? Yes, you would, because I'm a dork like that.

Our date was absolutely perfect. We saw a man get hit by a car on his bike (he was ok)  and then a woman get out of her vehicle to tell off another lady at a red light. But, after that, it was all good. :) We went to a place called The Terrace Restaurant and it was A-mazing! I had to walk on a gravel driveway in my Amazon heels and then there was a tricky little step inside, but I am happy to report I did not have a Miss Congeniality moment and I did not break my neck. Josh actually scooped me up and carried me to the Jeep on the way back out. I pretended like it was romantic, but I think he was just tired of waiting on me. :) I also had the realization during the course of the evening that these shoes could be a hinderance to my career. It is hard to teach dance with broken ankles.  So, after dinner I really did change into flats and put my jean jacket on over my dress.

We had so much fun. There were even fireworks going off when we left the restaurant. Aww....The good news is, Josh loves me no matter what I wear. Thank goodness. It's hard work being hot. :) :) :)
P.S. If you don't believe me, this is me the day after. We stopped at the Dixie Dandy (that't the gas station next to Mr. Cheap Butts) to grab lunch before we headed out to get the kids. I mentioned we would be eating in the car and the sandwich lady gave me this bib. Is that sexy, or what????????