Sunday, October 30, 2011

Grace for Stinky Feet and Pew Crawling Toddlers

Tonight we had a joint service with 2 other churches for a 5th Sunday night sing. It was a great time of praise   and worship and I was sooo proud of our kids who sang. That's a new thing for our church. We just started Children's Church about a month ago and it is going really well. So exciting. Anyway, I had invited someone who has been coming to our morning services to come tonight and she did. I sat with her and her 2 year old and 7 month old and it brought back so many memories. We also had a 5 year old and a 2 year old behind us and the children's choir in front of us. My favorite moment was when Kate, who was on the pew in front of me on the opposite end waited until the end of a song and the beginning of the pastor's announcements to scream "I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!!!"  Anyway, the little ones on the pew with me were very good, but it was a two hour service, and let's face it, that's a long service for babies. At one point the 2 year old laid on the floor and of course you know what's coming next. She started crawling under the pew. I got her up about 50 times. I told her mom that all kids do that at that age. And I wasn't just saying that to make her feel better. Seriously, all of mine did that. I may not be experienced at many things, but toddlers in church, that I know. :)

This morning Josh preached about the things in our lives that seem like trials, but are really blessings. They are things that God is using to grow patience, perseverance and peace. I have some more serious, life altering experiences that I would put in that category, but tonight I started thinking how not having a nursery when my kids were toddlers and babies felt like a huge trial to me. I dreaded church. I suffered shame and embarrassment, both from things my kids did and ways that I reacted to it. I felt like a failure on a weekly basis. I know it seems silly. SO not a major trial. But, it was for me and I will forever be eternally grateful for the people who offered to hold a baby or entertain a toddler for me. They were doing more than baby holding. They were showing God's love in the way I needed to be loved. So, tonight, I realized that it didn't phase me to pick that sweet girl up off the floor 50 times. And I didn't think one time (even when Kate screamed out her urinary needs), "What are people thinking?"  I just sang and held babies. And I praised God. Because He's grown me. And I needed to see that after a week of feeling like I've taken 60 steps backwards. And I praised Him for those pews of babies and young children who were  learning by example how to praise and worship the God of the Universe. As we sang, "Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sin"  babygirl started jumping up and down laughing and clapping. A few years ago I probably would have grabbed my kids hand and given them THE LOOK. Not tonight. I laughed and prayed that I would have that same reaction to God's grace in my life. He has shown me so much grace.

On that note, I thought I would share a post I wrote a couple of years ago. November 15, 2009 to be exact. It was originally called "The The Scent of the Worship Service is Smelly Feet".

This is my list of apologies to all of those church members whose trial by fire is unfortunately sitting near me and my circus of children during worship service. I'm sorry. So sorry.

* I apologize to the person sitting right in front of me and Kate. I know that Kate insisted on putting her feet on your back and trust me, we had a come to Jesus meeting about it.

* I apologize that Sarah Beth is the noisiest colorer known to mankind.

*I apologize if you heard me getting on to Sarah during prayer for being the noisiest colerer ever.

* I apologize if you have been unfortunate enough to glance up and see my backside bent over peeling Kate off of the floor.

*I apologize if I distracted you by banging my index finger into the pew showing Eli exactly where he needed to place his backside. I extra apologize if Kate distracted you even more when she had to imitate me.

*I apologize to the deacon I almost tackled trying to get to the bathroom. I really should have gone before class.

*I apologize for not being able to shush Kate when she began pointing at the stainglass window and talking about Jesus' nose.

*I apologize to anyone who may have stepped on a stray fruit snack that fell from our pew.

*I extra repentantly apologize to those who were seated close enough to get a whiff of Eli's feet when he disobediently took his shoes off. We all paid for that sin!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I feel better. I've shared my apologies. Now, those of you who don't have to sit near us in church service-GO SAY A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Follow-Up

Okay, so I am obviously a Whatnot Wednesday drop-out these last couple of weeks. I just cannot get it together, y'all. But, I would not want you to have to start your weekend wondering what has happened in my life this week. I know that would be tragic. :) So, here are the random events, thoughts and feelings of my life in a very random, most likely non-chronological order.

*  We've been having a problem with Kate and the bathroom. You always know when she's been in the bathroom because it looks like the rapture has happened. You will find a pile of panties, pants, sock and shoes all there, like she was supernaturally lifted out of them. I have not been able to figure out this phenomenon. There's no sign of an accident. Just clothes. Well, the other day she told Josh that she had to change because there were "raindrops" on her panties. So there you go, mystery solved. For the rest of the day I couldn't get that song, "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" out of my head. Ewww.......

* I am currently feeling like a failure as a mother. Today the kids were walking over to the high school to march through the halls and scream "JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS!" I went last year and walked with Eli and Sarah asked if I would go with her today. I just didn't have it in me. I haven't been feeling so great this week and as a result of that my house looks like 50 tornadoes have come through. I just didn't know if I had it in me to go marching and come home and recover my house. It was a one or the other kind of deal. Don't worry, I asked Sarah if she would forgive me for not coming and made her promise that she would not do drugs when she gets older. 

*  My purchases from the store last weekend.  Oh the irony........

* We are getting a new steam cleaner today and it is the highlight of my week. I also came to the realization this week that there is a profound connection to the cleanliness of our kitchen and my emotional well-being. I am so relieved all of the pumpkin painting, cake baking, and costume creation are done. The last few weeks my kitchen/dining room have served as an art studio/tool workbench/a little bit of space to cook and eat too.

* Oh yeah, Halloween isn't over, is it?  Last weekend we had the school and church's fall festivals and while they were fun, I'll just be honest. I'm over it. Too bad for me. Just got the note that Kate's party will be at 10:30. Eli's is at 1:40. Haven't heard about Sarah's yet. That night is "Ghost on the Coast". You may remember that last year our girl's danced to "Thriller". They are dancing again and this will be the first thing my kids actually dress up for. Well, Kate dressed for the school's fall festival last week. Sarah's teacher told her that their grade didn't dress up so Eli decided he wouldn't either. Kate was still cool with it. Would you believe it if I told you my child was THE ONLY one dressed up? Yes, you would. But it's cool. She's going as Rapunzel and she's already worn this dress to church so, no biggie....

* I worked booths most of the time at both festivals so Josh was in charge of pics and then Mammy played photographer for me at the church one.  Here are a couple of my faves.
Lord, help us all!! They BOTH won sodas at the ring toss. I was actually taking tickets at the ring toss at the time they played so you may think it was rigged, but TRUST ME,  I would have rigged it for them NOT to win!!! 

I look terrible in this pic, but cut me some slack. I had just spray painted about 50 kid's heads. Anyway, I just share it because it is my first official "my child is a tween and her social life is everything and I just told her her friend couldn't spend the night and you can tell she wants nothing to do with me" picture. Pretty special, right?

So, at the church's fall festival the lady who was face painting got sick and I was asked to help out. There were 800 people lined up and the lady doing it started feeling sick so I jumped in. However, when a kid asked for 2 different color lines under his eyes like a football player and I messed that up, I called for reinforcements. I went and got Josh from the bowling booth and told him he was face painting. He was way too eager. I found out why.
I had been soooo excited about working the bowling booth, but for some reason it had never occurred to me that I would have to pick those pins up. EVERY.STINKIN'.TIME. My sweet MIL helped me (and I'm pretty sure she will plan a trip out of town during our fall festival next year :) and we spent as much time knocking the pins down as the kids did. That was a workout! Made me feel a little better about the 450 pounds of sugar I ate that weekend.

* In additional fall festible (that's what Eli calls them) news, Kate and her friend Peyton decided they want to be firefighters when they grow up. You can't tell by her face, but Kate LOVED the firetruck. 

* Nate the Great came to Eli's reading class last week. So fun! I just love teachers who come up with neat stuff like this. 

* Theatre practice has started full force this week. It's serious business. We've got to get it together. I have a small panic attack any time I look at the calendar. We are doing "A Suessifed Christmas Carol"  and pretty much have a month now to work on it. Let me tell you some of the ideas the kids have had. One boy suggested we play a song at the end. I've never heard it, but apparently it is from "Rocky Horror Picture Show". That just screams Christmas and Children's Theater, doesn't it?  Reminds of the time I was in charge of a Christian event at my high school called "First Priority". We planned a big thing in the gym and I asked a friend and his band to play. They totally started out by playing that Pink Floyd song, "Another Brick in the Wall".  Here are the lyrics:
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave the kids alone
Hey, teacher, leave the kids alone !
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

Perfect. Can you think of a better song for a Christian event taking place at a high school. I know, right?

The other idea the kids had has to do with solving a casting issue. We only have 13 cast members and several of them are playing multiple parts. There's a scene where we need several children. So, my cast decided I need to order 25 cardboard cutouts of Justin Beiber. I know, it's like they read my mind. :) One of my girls actually insisted I write that down on my prop list. I'm so glad I've already turned in my budget proposal. Can't you just see me putting in a request for 25 Justin Beiber cutouts? Where does one even get such a thing?

This may not be the most professional, put together performance ever, but I feel that I can safely advertise it as a show like people have never seen!!!!!!!!!

* Kate's teacher told us that she is really coming out of her shell and that she is SILLY! A child of mine, silly? I'm shocked!!! :)

Whew, we made it. Sorry this is so long, but I forget EVERYTHING if I don't blog it. I've been wondering all week why I've been so tired. Think I just remembered. :)   What has your week (or 2)  been like?

Monday, October 24, 2011


Do you ever notice a theme in your life? Like, everything you read or things that people say to you all go back to one thing? Well, I'm noticing a theme. Actually, I'm noticing two and they seem to be merging. At least I think they are. I'm gonna try to explain what I"m talking about here.

The first thing I feel like God has been dealing with me about is uniqueness. Last week I was reading a Hermie book to Kate and it is all about realizing that God makes everyone unique. It actually uses the word "unique" and Kate asked what it means. By that point all 3 of my kids were gathered around me and it became a very teachable moment. We talked about the physical ways we are unique. That made me think about the day that Kate was looking at a family picture we had made before she was born. She asked where she was and it was hard to explain to her. I told her God was still making her. She asked, "And my curly hair?" "Yep", I told her. Eli responded with, "God has a curling iron????" Ha! That still cracks me up. We also talked about the other ways we are unique. But even as I explained "unique" to my kids, it is still something I struggle to grasp. I mean, to really understand and appreciate that we are all unique.

Deep down I am a conformist. I strive for "normal", "acceptable", and "okay". I will never forget (for many reasons :) my first "girl exam". I had a nice, but goofy nurse practitioner and upon examination she very quickly told me, "Don't worry. You're normal." *sigh of relief*  :)  Apparently she had met plenty of young women who needed to be assured that they were, indeed, "normal".  Let's face it, nobody wants to be on a dr's examining table and hear, "Well that's different."  You know what I mean? So, anyway, back to the whole normal thing. We often talk about being special, or unique or other such things, but deep down, I think most of us just want to fit in. I say most, but I know not all. I absolutely stand in awe of people who are different and are okay with it. They rock my world. There is a middle school girl I've worked with who is so okay with herself. In middle school y'all! Can you think of a harder time to be different? And by different I mean, she looks different, wears her hair different. She's into different things. The other day I was watching a guy watch her and I thought, 'I think he gets her.'  And it occurred to me that I wish I realized at that age that instead of investing every spare moment of my life trying to become who I thought people wanted me to be, that I would have just waited for people who "got me". My friend Lori commented on this post where I asked what you would tell your 16 year old self if you could go back. She said, "It's okay to be different. It's good to be different. God can make different beautiful."    I LOVE that! I love that Lori is the one who said it because she is someone who I admire so much for being herself and being okay with who she is. And she is fabulous! 

So, that brings me to the next theme in my life. One that I'm sure you've noticed, if you've read many of my blogs, runs rampant in my life:  People pleasing. French fries and people pleasing = my kryptonite. It's a lifelong struggle of mine. I've overanalyzed it, psychoanalyzed it, prayed about, discussed it, claimed to get better, blah, blah, blah. And here I am. Teaching my kids that we are all made unique and that it is a good thing, but I don't seem capable of believing it. Deep down I'd really prefer that I just be exactly whatever it is people would like me to be. I would like to always say the right things, do the right things and look the right way. I don't always know what "right" is, but I usually come to the conclusion that it is what other people think, want, feel, as opposed to what I think, want, feel. Any of you struggle with that? The thing is, for years now I've known that the enemy has used it to discourage me. And I mean, Discourage, with a capital D. Is there anything harder than trying to be everybody but yourself? Or trying to constantly figure out what people want or expect from you? It's pretty tough, even if you are a seasoned professional like myself. Well, within 2 days last week I had two different people who live in 2 different states and have no knowledge of the other's existence bring this issue of mine to life. The first was a church member. We were talking about some things on a Wednesday night and I was asking her how she felt about some things and I must have gone into my epic paranoia of what so and so and so and so would think and she said, "You sure are worrying about what a lot of people are thinking."  Wow. It wasn't said in a mean way at all, just an honest statement of the facts. And all of a sudden, a lightbulb went off for me. And it was the realization that IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of people who walk all over others and could care less how other people think or feel. But at the same time, just because people may think differently about something than I do doesn't mean that it changes anything. I know, most of you probably came to understand this when you were 4 and you didn't care what people thought of your polka dot leggings and out of season sweater. Apparently, I missed this part of human development. 

Just two days later, my uncle shared a quote with me on my FB page. It says, "Instead of seeking purpose by comparing ourselves with others, we can discover God's purpose for our lives in the pages of the revealed Word." Kenneth Boa.  Wow, again. Again, I needed to hear this. Me? Compare myself to others? NEVER! The truth is, there isn't a person I haven't compared myself to. If I could just be as talented as that person. As spiritual. As pretty. As smart. As organized. As good of a parent. As preacher wife . Yes, I have thought that. A lot. For those of you who really know me, do you get what it is like for me? I'm a preacher's wife and a dance teacher and I don't feel particularly qualified to be either. On a good day I'm a bundle of insecurity questioning most of the decisions I've made in life. How exactly did I end up here, and how many people are wondering THE EXACT SAME THING??? 

After reading that quote on Friday I made it a new mission to work on the comparing thing. Again. And Sunday night wouldn't you know that a former pastor and pastor's wife from our church showed up? After a marathon of Fall Festivals this weekend and a turn in the nursery Sunday morning, I was hanging by a thread Sunday night. I can't tell you how close I came to just skipping. See? I'm so not spiritual enough. Anyway, I was totally in jeans and FLIP FLOPS and my hair appeared as though I hadn't brushed it in a few days. And these sweet people come and I think, 'She just LOOKS like a preacher's wife.' They sit behind me and as we are singing I think, 'He SOUNDS like a preacher.'  Insecurity overtakes me until I flip through our praise book and see "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and I can almost hear Him ask me, "Who are you here for?"

And, that brings me to the icing on the cake of "Here's Your Sign" moments in relation to my people pleasing/comparing myself to others. A quote in a devotional that brings to my attention that this is more than a personal "issue" or one of my many idiosyncrasies. This is a SIN. Like a big one. Like a number one on the Ten Commandments kind.

"Beware of seeing yourself through other people's eyes There are several dangers to this practice. First of all, it is nearly impossible to discern what others actually think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer's spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. Your concern to please others dampens your desire to please Me, your Creator."

~Jesus Calling, Sarah Young p. 299

So, what is God trying to teach this insecure, people pleasing, mess of a girl. He made me unique. Some people may prefer to describe me as "weird", "strange" or something like that, but I'm going to choose not to care. :)  He is teaching me that things about me that I wish were more like someone else, are there for a reason. I get really down on myself for being a night owl instead of an early riser. I just feel like there has to be something spiritually wrong with me because I don't wake up singing "This is the Day the Lord Hath Made". There must be something wrong with me that I can't go to sleep before midnight, right? And yet today, I realized how many times I've had late night counseling sessions with brothers and sisters in Christ who couldn't sleep either. So, I'm deciding to look at my night owlness as more of a shift work thing in the Family of God. :)  I also can't stand the fact that I'm not a super neat freak and that my house and car look a little lived in. Okay, a lot lived in. But it dawned on me that if I were a total neat freak I probably wouldn't be very open to the herds of neighborhood children who come traipsing through my disaster of a house everyday. And, I don't play the piano and I 'm not a phone person. That's kind of a big deal when you're a preacher's wife. I don't know how to fix that, but I will tap dance and FB you all day long. :) What can I say? I'm different. And God can make different beautiful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Picture It.....

There are 90 trillion blog posts floating around in my head. Some funny. Some serious. Some seriously serious. But, I just can't seem to focus to write any of them right now. I thought that instead I would bless you with my week (or month, or who knows when all of these pics are from?) in pictures. Earlier my computer said it was having communication difficulties with my camera. Apparently they've worked through their conflict, and good for them.

First, I have a picture here of my hubby spray painting baseball pants gold. This will eventually be a whole blog post when I explain in detail how to create the perfect FSU football player costume when all you have is baseball stuff. To get ready for that post make sure you have these things handy: 1. Gold spray paint 2. paper mache` and 3. An incredibly talented hubby. I am coining a new phrase, the "HDI project" as opposed to the DIY project. That stands for "Hubby did it". Yes, you will hear all about it soon. 

This here, is my first ever totally from scratch cake. It is a cinnamon roll cake and while it doesn't exactly look like the picture in the recipe, it smells really good. That counts for something right? We have 2 fall festivals this weekend and cake walks at both. I made this cake and also the Pumpkin Gooey Butter cake and I'm pretty sure I gained 15 pounds from licking the spoon. Oh well. Totally worth it. For the record, I've totally given up on making pretty cakes. I just go for taste and make them in pans you can lick.

                                                     No words needed. I heart them.

This is a Kate photography shot, but it just so sums up my life. Laundry and Mr. Clean. And a house that is so not clean.....

I'm not normally a fan of bathroom shots, but I just couldn't resist today. For some reason my husband thinks that the bathroom is a swell place to recharge electronics like his Kindle and the DS. I mean really, could we pick a place with more opportunities for water damage??? Anyway, I walked in to this scene today. I thought I would never get to use the bathroom. Kate told me she was "usin' the poo poo", but I think she just really didn't want to end her game. I went back in a few minutes later and Eli was in the bathroom with her! Apparently my bathroom has become party central. Yay.

The kids painted their pumpkins on Monday. I've been so bummed we don't have a pumpkin patch to go to, but we've made do. And my table still looks like that.....

Eli let me get this totally cute pic of him with his pumpkin. I'm so glad I got this chair from my Mom. My kids think it is the greatest thing ever and will totally let me take pics if they get to sit in it. Please note my pumpkin on the left. SOMEONE whose name starts with K and rhymes with ate thinks it's fun to pull the beans off. Little stinker!

                                                          My tap girls. They're so silly!

What do you get when you sit through an hour reading of "A Seussified Christmas Carol", preparing for 2 fall festivals, and 5 hours of dance?  You look like this! My brain is only capable of thinking in rhyme and tap rhythm.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Magical Moments

This weekend was full of all kinds of good things. Thought I would document them so I don't forget.

* Friday the kids spent the night with my Mom. That meant date night for me and Josh. Woo-hoo! We've had a busy few weeks and I felt like we had only seen each other passing through the revolving door at our house. We started at Wal-Mart and Target. You might be a married couple if you have to go Wal-Mart on a date. I have a gift card for Target and I wanted to try on some boots there. Not to get off of the subject of our date, but y'all, I cannot pull off the knee high boots over the jeans. I just can't. I was hoping for supermodel, but I looked more like Elmer Fudd headed out on a duck hunt. Oh well. We had supper at Olive Garden and got dessert to go. We took it to the marina and watched the sunset while we ate. We finished the night at an arcade. We haven't really figured out that we are grown ups yet.

* Saturday morning I set out on the search for the perfect accessories to decorate my porch for fall. Then, I headed to pick the kids up from my Moms. We all went to eat lunch at Beef o' Brady's and had fun. Most of the people there were watching football and we were smack dab in the middle of two sets of fans. One table would cheer and clap and then they would stop, turn and look at the other table and wait for them to take their turn cheering. There was also a table with beer on tap at their table and Eli wanted to know if we could get one with Sprite. I had to tell him no.

* We got home and I decorated our "porch". My Mom gave me a wicker chair she doesn't use anymore and I bought a cute fall welcome sign. I also made a pumpkin with our initial on it. I got the idea from Pinterest, and while mine is not perfect, I felt pretty proud of it. I was going to use a real pumpkin but I found a fake one at Michael's for $7 so I decided to use it so hopefully I can use it again in years to come. :)

I just hot glued white northern beans (that I just happened to have in my pantry, probably for some recipe I was going to try and never did) onto the pumpkin and prayed that the hot glue would not melt whatever it is this pumpkin is made out of. :)

*  Once my decorating was done it was time for Sarah and I to get ready. She and another girl from the dance studio were going to perform at our local Jr. Miss (now known as the "Distinguished Young Women" program) pageant. I could write a whole blog post about that experience. :) Sarah and Dianara performed their tap dance from last year's recital while the girls changed into their dresses. They did great and I was so proud of them!

I was planning to leave after they performed but of course Sarah wanted to stay and see who won. It ended up being almost 9:00! Josh went with his parents and took Kate and Eli out to see the youth group from our home church who were camping out close to us. We met them at Burger King for a late night supper and had a great time chatting with them. 

* This morning the youth came to our church service and it just blew me away to see them. One of the 6th graders was in the preschool when we went to church there. I felt bad, I didn't even recognize her, but she came up to give me a hug. Two of the Moms who were chaperoning are extra special to me. They were MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leaders back in the day when I had a 2 year old Sarah and was expecting Eli. They were such awesome mentors for me as mothers and ministry leaders. I went on to become the MOPS leader the next year when their babies were too big for MOPS.  I am so thankful for those sweet ladies and thankful that they are still serving God, now in the youth group with their kids WHO MAKE ME FEEL REALLY OLD!!!!! :)

* After church one of our ladies offered to take all 3 of my kids to play with her granddaughter until evening service. It started out just Sarah, then turned into Eli and of course Kate turned on the crocodile tears and ended up going too. I felt so blessed. It is not often (okay, ever) that I have a quiet Sunday afternoon. I will be eternally grateful to that sweet lady!

* At church, the kids were exhausted. Kate crawled up in my lap and fell asleep. Eli and Sarah both cuddled up. I got to hear them sing. I realized I really missed them this weekend and I found myself admiring their freckled faces and being reminded how much they look like their daddy. It was a magical moment kind of deal. :)

* Now, it's Sunday night and there is no school or dance for the next two days! I don't know if I've ever been so excited for fall break. But I intend to observe this holiday in it's fullness and TAKE A BREAK!!! We'll see how that goes......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: My Body is Brokeded

* I have a chipped tooth. That's kind of my big news for the week. I was spotting a girl in tumbling. She went to kick her leg over for a back walkover and apparently I thought my jaw would be a great thing to push her over. I clenched my teeth and chipped a bottom front tooth. It was traumatic. I couldn't stop looking at it. It feels so weird. Barbie kept asking if I was okay, if I needed to sit down or go home. I kept saying, "It doesn't hurt. It just feels so weird." Yesterday, it hurt. My whole mouth did. I thought it would be good for me because I didn't want to eat anything. But, today, it's fine. My jaw is still sore, but my teeth aren't as sensitive.

* Last night we had a baby shower at the church and I was telling some of our ladies about it. Then, they somehow started talking about this place that has been nicknamed "Stick and Stab" or something like that because so many fights happen there. I remarked that Josh and I have not been invited to that establishment. One of them informed me I would have to lose more teeth. :)

* I would show you a picture of my tooth but the batteries have been dead in my camera for over a month now. And I can't find the cord for my battery recharger. Can you believe that? If I ever get around to decorating for fall or doing fun fall activities with my children, I will definitely get batteries and take pictures. 

* Yesterday that Katy Perry song "Firework" came on the radio and Kate said, "That song is everywhere." Did I ever tell y'all my kids are obsessed with the movie "Soul Surfer"? Josh let them watch it while I was in Dothan. I thought it would be too scary for them, but they loved it. We now have a Barbie with half of an arm. I thought it was an accident but when I asked about it Kate started talking about the shark attacking her...

* I have had the most frustrating week in technology ever. I will spare you all of the details, but I will just tell you that my printer is lucky it didn't take a flight through our living room window. That's all.

* Yesterday and today we had try-outs for the children's theatre that I am trying to pull together directing and they went better than I expected. Quite a few of my kids from the summer are back and I'm so excited! 99.3 % of them are in band though so we are working around the band schedule. Today a new girl I haven't met came to try-out and I asked her if she had any activities that might interfere. She said, "No, I'm grounded."  I said, "Awesome."  I don't normally condone kids getting grounded, but hey, it works for me. :)

* In other theatre news, I got in trouble today because apparently the kids who were waiting their turn to audition yesterday  were raiding the teacher's lounge for ice.I should have realized that was what was happening when they kept showing up with styrofoam bowls of ice, but all I could think was, "Wow, my teeth hurt so bad I want to cry looking at that ice."

* I was soooo tired last night I went to bed at 11:00. Anyone who knows me knows that's a pretty big deal. I didn't just go to bed, I went to sleep. I could hear Josh telling me goodnight, but I could not physically respond. That ever happen to you??? Anyway, it's a good thing I went to bed "early". Kate ended up in the bed with us and did you know she takes up more room than me and Josh together? She also has a cold or allergies (I think it's just allergies) and she was having coughing fits. If I turned to face her she would cough in my face and kick me in the bladder. If I rolled over she would kick me in the back. I feel like I've had the snot beat out of me y'all.

* The good news is, I got new contacts today! I've needed them really bad. I decided this week that maybe if I could see I would quit hurting myself. :)  The bad news is, now I know that I really need to clean my house more and pluck my eyebrows. In other good news, the lady couldn't read my birth year. She thought it said 1986. She said, "I thought you were 26 or 27."  I told her I would take it. 

* We had a van full of kids for church tonight. It absolutely made my week (month? year?) when one of the girls started quoting a memory verse we've been working on. It was even better when her Mom quoted one from a worksheet that I sent home last week that I figured nobody would ever look at. That just so makes it worth it!  We also got a good laugh when one of the boys told us he was singing at school and he "broke it down".  You might have to know the kid to appreciate it, but it was hilarious.

* Okay, I just realized it is 10:41 and I still have not eaten supper. And I feel like eating tonight. :)  I hope you are all having a wonderful, pain free week! Let me know about it!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

That Girl

Something fun about being married to your high school sweetheart is looking at your yearbooks together. It's especially fun if your husband is a preacher and his yearbook is signed by someone who calls himself Big D who writes, "Pimp Daddy, have a nice summer pimpin the hoes." Awesomeness. It's fun to tease him about the girl who declared her love for him. He swears up and down she didn't, but she said, "Your the coolest guy I know. (I really mean it) Your the best. I like your personality and looks. Call me."  Seriously, Josh didn't take this as she liked him. You really have to spell it out for guys, don't you? It's also slightly painful to read what you wrote in your significant others yearbook before they became your significant other. I actually told him to "keep your eyes on Jesus!"  I was so destined to be a preacher's wife. And a dork. I also used the word "Awesome" obnoxiously. Okay, some things never change. 
Anyway, I came across this picture of me getting my hair did (check out the fat rolls! Guess I have to stop blaming it on the kids!!) and it reminded me of my current profile pic on FB. One of my friends teased me about my pose and told me he couldn't figure out if I was falling down or trying to stand up. I joked that you never know with me. I do both a lot! Now I have yearbook, archived proof! Last night I was completely exhausted and feeling sentimental. I started kind of missing that girl, which is something that hasn't really happened to me.  I loved high school and had way more good experiences than bad (at least that my old brain can remember at this point), but I'm not one to really dwell on high school or miss it a lot. But last night, I did. I wondered what that girl would think of this girl. 

That girl was the prom queen and voted sweetest in the class a couple of times. This girl is queen of the laundry and has had some really not so sweet temper tantrums. That girl cried when she hit a raccoon and had someone write in her yearbook that he thought she might bring about world peace. This girl became a social worker and a preacher's wife and grew a thick skin. She also can't even accomplish home peace most days with her 3 kids. 

I started feeling discouraged. Started missing that girl. That girl hadn't known what clinical depression felt like, how it felt to make hard choices and disappoint herself and others, or what life was like without her Daddy. Then I began to think about all that girl didn't have. That girl hadn't danced with her head on the shoulder of the boy of her dreams. That girl didn't know how it felt to drive with the windows down listening to the Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces" as she drove to college for the first time. That girl didn't know Karen Napp and hadn't pulled an all-nighter studying for a Western Civ. exam. That girl had never heard the words, "Will you marry me?" or planned her dream wedding. That girl didn't know the thrill of decorating her first apartment as a married woman. That girl had never felt the kick of a human being growing inside of her, or calmed a crying baby the way only a Mama can. That girl hadn't yet experienced her Heavenly Father as God the Healer. That girl hadn't learned that it was okay to have her own opinions, or what those might be. 

That girl had a lot to learn. If this girl could squat down and chat with that girl she would tell her to wear sunscreen and lay off the honeybuns. I would tell her that things were not going to go the way she expected. That things would be harder than she was planning on. Sometimes they would feel impossible. But, the God she loves would become even bigger and closer and the plans that changed would work out way better. I wouldn't tell her about the laundry though. There are some things you just can't properly prepare yourself for. :)

What about you? If you could go back and talk to your 16 year old self, what would you say?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: Awkward

* So yesterday I got a text from Kate from Kansas that said, "You totally should do me a favor...:-) and make me a what not Wednesday tomorrow :) "  So, y'all can thank Kate for this completely random, worthless post. :)

* Today I heard Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and remembered that in a very weak emotional state I almost chose that song for my wedding. I still remember the day I was in the Little Red Rocket driving back to school, leaving my fiance` 5 hours behind. I cried and belted that song like a sick seal. I decided it was perfect for our wedding. Praise the Lord I came to my senses or I would probably not be able to watch our wedding video without rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter. Just for the record, I would like to say to Joshua Fidler, you really did give me wings and make me fly. You touched my hand and I could touch the sky. I'm everything I am because you loved me. I hope that doesn't keep you up at night. :)

* Monday night I started a new tiny tots dance class at our local gym. It's a good thing for our studio. We are growing and need more room. It's kind of an awkward thing for me. I had imagined lots of girls in cute workout gear watching Dr. Phil while they walked on the treadmill. Instead, I walked in to a gym full of all men. And I'm talking, gorilla, live at the gym, bench press things that weigh more than my car kind of men. There was a curtain to pull around our area, but you could still totally see around it. I had Kate, a 2 year old who was starting her first class and just wanted to twirl, both of her parents, one with a camera, the other with a video camera, another 2 year old who sat on the floor and cried the whole time and her Mom who tried to hide, but could totally be seen the whole time. I also had Sarah helping me and Eli in the corner doing his homework. As I plugged in my boombox (I like calling it that.) I texted Josh and said, "You will not believe where I am teaching dance."  It just cracked me up. I opted to leave my pants and t-shirt on. It was one thing to have to tap dance to the wiggles, I just couldn't bear to do it in a leotard in front of the mighty men. 

* Speaking of awkward dancing, I have been asked if Sarah and I would like to perform our duet from last year at a Junior Miss pageant. Isn't that the most hilarious thing you've ever heard? I think I will only agree if I can wear a crown.

* I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and am totally as addicted as I knew I would be. Right now I am obsessing over family pic ideas. I've been really happy the last couple of times we've had pics made, but I still always find myself thinking, "I wish I had my hair cut before that" or "I wish I didn't have my hair cut" or "I wish we didn't wear that color" or whatever. Do y'all do that? I mean, if you display those pics you just look at them forever. So, I really want to make sure we get good pics. Figuring out the clothes is always a big thing. I love really neutral, earthy colors, but they kind of wash me out. And let's face it, it's all about me. :)  Seriously though, everybody else will look beautiful no matter what. Anyway, this is the color scheme I am looking at right now. I would love to hear what you think.
Depending on everybody's moods that day, we may or may not just get pics of the clothes hanging on the fence.

* Kate was just laying on the floor singing "Sweet Home Aladama". 

* Sarah has a dentist appointment at 7:00 tomorrow morning. Have you ever heard of anything so awful? She was supposed to have one yesterday after school, but they called to reschedule. I figured I better take whatever we could get. The last time I called to make an appointment I was put on hold for so long I was sure we would be scheduling the removal of her wisdom teeth.

* I'm off to get ready for church now. I teach the kindergarten through 2nd grade class and we've been taking up an offering the first Wednesday of every month to go towards making boxes for Operation Child Christmas boxes. We only have one more offering after tonight. I'm so excited! I think it will be so fun to pack those boxes with the kids! If you are interested in finding out more about it you can go HERE!

* Dr. Oz just said sleep is the most important thing you can do to stop the signs of aging. That explains a lot. There's no hope for me.

I hope you are all having a fabulous week so far! Go link up HERE and tell us about it! (Yes, Kate, I mean you. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Surrender

Last night at church we sang "I Surrender All" and I had to chuckle. Not at the song. It's a very serious song. But, that it would be chosen for this week. Just a day earlier as I was driving a white plastic bag flew up and wrapped itself around the Jeep's antenna. And I laughed hysterically. Because it looked like I was flying a white flag of surrender, and honestly, by that point it was exactly how I felt. Last week was just one of those weeks.

Wednesday I drove to Tallahassee to meet my sister for lunch and pick up my niece and nephew. I had an awesomely amazing drive by myself there and after enjoying lunch with Jenny and her friend, Jenn, the kids slept the whole way back to my house. Before Luke fell asleep we had a great conversation. He told me he was going to Eli's house to play with "Eli's toys". We also talked about trucks and tractors we saw and the "cave" (aka an overpass). He's such a little man now. 

Before I left for Tallahassee I got a phone call from the lady in charge of the theatre classes I will be teaching. We had originally planned to meet on Friday, but by the time I got off the phone it had been changed to that day. So, I got home, left Josh with 7 kids (the neighborhood always shows up at our house on Wednesday) and headed off to my meeting. She gave me a schedule that made me feel simultaneously relieved to see it all already planned out and in total panic mode that the next few months are planned out, do you know what I mean? She also asked if I could write a budget proposal. By Friday. Sure. Because I totally write budget proposals all the time. And I had 5 kids at my house. Maybe they could illustrate it?

I got home just in time for Josh to leave to pick kids up on the bus for church.  I rounded all of the kids and their shoes up and we went to church. It's usually about 8:30 when we get home from church so we immediately put everybody to bed. Lyla went right to sleep, but Josh and I kept waking her up going in and out of our room. Josh had to be up super early because he was going the next day to play golf with a friend in Pensacola the next day, so about 11:00 I just brought Lyla to the living room and we watched some Golden Girls and she played with Woody. It's kind of become our thing to do. :) Eventually we got some sleep and we needed it!!

Thursday became a day of colossal inconvenience and frustration. It was the absolute definition of "one of those days". So, Josh had planned to go play golf for his birthday months ago and I knew that. And my boss was leaving to go out of town this particular Thursday and I'd known that for a while. And I had talked to my sister about keeping her kids weeks before. But somehow, it never entered my brain that all of these things were happening on the same Thursday. And honestly, I really didn't think it would matter, but it kinda did. First, Thursday morning went much smoother than I expected. Since Josh was already gone I had to load up all 5 kids to go to the school. But, Sarah totally changed Lyla's diaper and dressed Luke for me while I took a bath. I would SO recommend having your kids 9 or so years apart. :)  We had to take the church van because it was all we could fit in, but Josh had moved both car seats so that wasn't a big deal. Except the driver's side door which has never opened from the inside, now also doesn't open from the outside. So, I had to crawl through the passenger seat. Fun times. I ended up letting Eli and Kate stay home from school because I knew it would be more fun for Luke and Lyla.  After dropping Sarah off (she had a test, had to go), I proceeded to take all 4 kids to the Pig because there was also a housewarming at the church that night and even though I wouldn't get to go, I was going to fix something to take over there. I was very proud of how well they did, but I won't lie, I got some looks. I've heard my friends who have 4 and 5 kids talk about the way people will look at them, but this was my first time experiencing it. Anyway, it almost got ugly when I bought a balloon to take to somebody and Luke and Lyla BOTH wanted to hold it (what was I thinking????), but I convinced them to hold it together, so all was well.

Back at the house I started my pumpkin muffins and the kids played. Until Kate did her usual thing and got into the fridge and so Lyla got in the fridge and before I knew it I was cleaning up tomato soup from the floor, the fridge, and Lyla's legs. Since the fridge was already open everybody decided they were hungry so I handed out some gogurts. Bad idea. I don't recommend those for children under the age of 13. Holy yogurt explosion batman!! Luckily I run a 24 hour laundry service in my house, so we got everybody cleaned up and about 4 hours later my muffins, (that are super easy and would probably normally take about 30 minutes) were done. Lyla was taking a nap by this point and Eli and Luke were jumping off the bed onto his punching bag, so I took that opportunity to load up their stuff. I also made a box of food for my kids. Thursdays are my long day at the dance studio and since Josh would still be gone they were going to have to hang out there. Lyla woke up, we got everybody redressed, I loaded up most of the stuff, and we headed out to pick up Sarah. I've never been so thankful for the pick-up line so we didn't have to get out. We ran back home to finish loading up the last of the kids stuff and made our way to the dance studio. My Mom was meeting me there when she got off work to pick up Luke and Lyla. As I pulled into my spot a thought dawned on me. A thought that I really wished had dawned on me, like, the night before. Josh had my Jeep. Josh had my keys. Josh had my studio key. My boss left to go out of town that day. We had just had a discussion about who had keys, and how it was not very many people, because we didn't want lots of people to have keys. I thought of the other person who did have a key and how I didn't have her phone number and I couldn't get her number because IT WAS INSIDE AND I COULDN'T GET INSIDE! 

Panic. Stress. Little girls in tutus showing up. I so did not want to call Barbie. She had just left for vacation. I didn't know what else to do. I called Josh but, even if he left that minute he still wouldn't get back until the last class of the night was starting anyway. So, I called Barbie. She calmed me down. She told me where the landlord's office was and I drove the church van with 5 kids to go get it. We drove back. All the kids unloaded. I couldn't get any of his keys to work. More little girls in tutus showed up. Their Moms must have been having the kind of day I was because despite the fact I couldn't get in and everybody was standing outside, they all left. I was thinking we might literally be dancing in the street. At that point my assistant showed up so I left her with all the youngins and ran (for real, I ran. It was a desperate situation y'all) back across the street to get the landlord. He walked back with me, leisurely making conversation. By this point my Mom had shown up so while he tried to get a key to work I unloaded the church van and reloaded all of the kids stuff and car seats into my Mom's car. The landlord finally got the back door to open. Mom left with Luke and Lyla, my kids settled in the back with homework and Barbies, my assistant started leading stretches and I was ready for a nap. Oh well. No time for that. We danced. Josh called and told me something that broke my heart and made me want to cry, but at that point it wouldn't have taken much. I pressed on. I usually don't have time to eat on Thursday nights, but I was absolutely starving by the time my last class started. I had brought a box of microwavable mac and cheese for the kids, string cheese, gogurts and about a dozen of those muffins we had left over. I was so wanting one of those muffins. I brought a dozen. Guess how many were left by the time I had time to stop and eat one. NONE. Not one. How dare my children share? I can't believe I raised them that way!!!!

I finished classes at 8:00 and we got home close to 8:30. The kids asked what was for supper. I reminded them it was everything they had eaten all night. My last class of the night is Sarah's tap class and I've been teaching them a dance to the song, "Mama Said". You know the one? Mama said there'll be days like this.....yeah. It was one of those days. 

Friday I worked on the budget proposal with Josh, who thankfully does have a clue how to do one. Then, I went and taught Barbie's classes. Saturday morning I got a text from my Mom asking if I had one of Luke's flip flops and I did. And a sippy cup. I can't imagine I didn't get all of his stuff together. :)  I used that as an excuse to pack up the kids and head to Panama City to see Jenny who was picking the kids up that day. Then, we drove back, went to an ice cream social in the park, then drove back to Panama City for a dinner with Josh's family. They were celebrating mine and Mammy's birthday. I love dragging my birthday out for a month. :) Yesterday we had church, then the kids had a birthday party. It was for one of the girls who chases Eli at school.  When we got there Eli refused to get out. I ended up dropping the girls off and taking him back home. When I went back to get the girls another girl from his class asked me, "Are you Eli's Mom? I like tickling him. He's ticklish."  My poor baby. He has social anxiety cuz the girls won't leave him alone. After the party we went back to church. After church I attempted to get my house in some kind of order. And I also just sat and started at the wall for a while. I just knew this week would be better.

Sarah woke up sick this morning. Eli was in hysterics crying (now I know it's probably because he's dreading being tickled) and Kate was so asleep while I tried to dress her that she peed on me. Lessons learned: 1. One crazy week does not automatically insure a peaceful one. 2. It's better just to surrender up front. I've already looked at my calendar and come to an understanding that every single thing on it may change this week. A few times. 3. It can be funny. Eventually. On Thursday (now known as "THE DAY") Josh was trying to laugh with me about it on the phone. I told him it wasn't really funny to me at that point. But..... it's getting there.