Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Tales: Tropical Storm Edition

* You know how I said I love rainy days when I have nothing to do? I hit the jackpot. It just so happened that we had a tropical storm come through. The kind where the weather is just bad enough to use as an excuse to not leave the house, but not bad enough to cause any major damage.I didn't even know there was one on the way. Sarah was sick over the weekend so I was staying home with her on Sunday anyway, but then I just happened to realize the weather was looking pretty bad. The next day my sister texted me to check on us because apparently she saw on the news it was coming straight for us. Something I didn't know because I don't watch the news. Anyway, I made the most of the storm by cleaning, reading, cooking and just  hanging out. It was exactly what this over scheduled, go too much family needed.

* My favorite conversations from Tropical Storm Debby:
ELI: "Remember when that wind almost blew me away?" (referring to when he opened the door for Josh)
KATE: "That would not be awesome."

The kids at the table while Josh napped in the recliner (and snored):  "Is that thunder or is that Daddy?"
For the record: It was Daddy.

* So, since we got some major cleaning done the other day, I was feeling all extra inspired to keep on cleaning. I had checked out "Organic Housekeeping" from the library a few weeks ago. I've found lots of natural ways to clean online, but I just thought I would check it out. I never thought I would sit down and read that thing like a novel, but I did  y'all! It is such a great reference book with so many easy, cheap cleaning ideas. This is probably not appropriate for a preacher's wife, but I think if there are two adjectives to describe how I like to do things they are cheap and easy. :) Anyway, I'm officially a dork. I asked Josh to get me this book for our anniversary. The funny thing is that Josh told Sarah he had part of my gift (I'll let you know if it's the book) and he asked her what else he should get me. She said, "Well, she likes to make her own cleaning supplies. You could get her that stuff."  Ha! Is that romantic or what?

* During the storm the kids had a coloring contest. They wanted me to judge and I just could not pick the best out of all four. So, instead I made up categories for all of their pictures. Sarah got Best Fashion, Eli got Best Cartoon and my child who just lives here during the day got Best Use of Shapes. Shockingly, Kate got "Most Colorful". I just would never see this child getting that award. :)

* Last night at church I was pushing Kate in the swing and she told me to "push me high in the sky, to Jesus!"

* In writing this I realize our week has been kind of boring, but that has been kind of awesome. I am thankful for boring weeks every now and then!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Disorderly Conduct

Once upon a time my husband bought me flowers and wrote me poetry. Today, he went above and beyond that. He spoke the sweetest words I've ever heard. He said, "I'm going to clean the front closet." My heart fluttered and then I began to tell him about some ideas I had. He then said, "Why don't I build some cubbies for our shoes?"  I thought he meant sometime in the future, like the time in the future when I plan to have my laundry room and all of our closets organized. But before I knew what was happening he was at the store buying wood.

You might not be able to properly understand my excitement unless you see our front closet. It is right beside our front door and when we moved into this house I was thrilled to finally have a closet we could use for shoes and coats. Until I realized that it's position by the front door meant that it would become the catch all for, well, all. I can't explain it. As painful and shameful as it is I will just have to show you.

Oh, there are no words. Usually this closet garners a great deal of huffing and puffing and loud sighing. I can pretty much count on leaving the house grumpy if it means I have to find someone's shoes in there. Don't be fooled by the ones hanging up in the shoe organizer. I'm the only one in the house who knows how to use it. I usually throw pairs in it if I find them along the way in a search for another pair. Up top we have what I refer to as the electronics tomb. It is where old laptops and other items go when they die and apparently we wait for them to be resurrected. It was one such laptop that pushed me over the edge with this closet. It fell on my head. That hurts, y'all.  

To top off the frustration of never being able to find anything, did I mention this is RIGHT BY OUR FRONT DOOR??? You have to remember, we are a preacher's family and live next door to the church. We have frequent unexpected visitors stop by. I will never forget praying with a sweet lady at my front door one day and while my heart was focused on her need, my mind was thinking, 'Dear Lord, please don't let her turn around until I can close the closet door. And if that doesn't happen, Dear Lord, please make me a bird so I can fly far, far away.' 

So, do you get my excitement now?  Well, after lots of hard work on my hubby's part, it's looking like a new closet!
I feel downright giddy! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Tales.....

This is going to be my new version of Whatnot Wednesday. At least this week. :)

* Last night I was eating some of my nuts and seeds and dancing around the kitchen as I am prone to do, and before I knew it one of the seeds flew out of my hand and LANDED IN ELI'S HAND across the kitchen. I mean, he didn't try to catch it, it just landed there. It was the craziest thing. We need to take that show on the road.

* Speaking of dancing, Barbie has been out of town this week so I've been covering her classes. As of today I've danced for 15 hours. I may or may not be able to walk tomorrow.

* Speaking of walking, on Monday the battery died in the Jeep. Shocking right? Because I never have car issues.... :)  Anyway Josh jumped it off and sent me on my merry way to the dance studio. Six hours later I locked up the studio and crawled into the jeep SO ready to be home. The battery was dead again. I called Josh. It went straight to voicemail. I called again. Voicemail. I figured his phone was dead. Because, of course his phone would be dead. I sent him a message on Facebook and prayed he would check it. Then, I decided I would handle this on my own. There is an auto parts store just down the street and I just knew I could handle this on my own. Until it hit me that it was after 8:00 and we live in a town where the only business that stays open until 8:00 is apparently the dance studio. By this time, my phone died. Eventually I determined to just walk home because what if Josh never checked his Facebook? So,  I started the trek home. It's not a terribly long walk from town to our house, but there are two pretty big bridges. It was in that moment that I was reminded I should always take extra clothes when I am teaching dance. This preacher's wife doesn't normally traipse around town in skintight yoga pants and a fluorescent orange tank top, but hey, there's a first time for everything. I consoled myself that maybe people would think I was walking for exercise. You know, in flip flops totin' a 50 pound purse.

So, I walked and as I did I thought, 'Tonight is the night I become a Dateline special'. I could hear the narrator's voice in my head. "It was a hot summer night in a small Florida town. Downtown looked like a ghost town. The streets were bare except for a dance teacher who was down on her luck."  Well, thankfully there were no serial killers out. I walked and when I crossed the first bridge I started praying that Josh would come to my rescue before the second bridge because, well, I did not want to climb the second bridge. He did! Just as I was heading down the first bridge he drove up. He said he was glad I had that bright tank top on or he might not have seen me. :)  Moral of this story. Keep your batteries charged. All of them.

* Josh decided it was time for me to have "The Talk" (or at least parts of it) with our firstborn. I took her for a special mother/daughter day and then managed to have the most awkward "Talk"of all time. I may have assured her our eggs are not like chicken eggs. And that may or may not have been reassuring to her. Not sure. And she may or may not know anymore about the facts of life than she knew before. I am just relieved we had our children girl/boy/girl so that it will be Josh's turn next....

* I still do not have a job. Which is fine, because I really haven't had time for one this summer. :)  I was thinking the other day as I was driving that perhaps I should choreograph a dance to "Call Me, Maybe" and perform it in HR offices around town. What do you think? 

* The other day Kate came into the bathroom with me and told me that she wanted me to have some privacy with her.  That seems to be the only privacy I get these days. :)

What are you up to this summer? 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Piggyback Rides

Josh, it seems like yesterday that I was an 18 year old girl smitten with a sweet boy. I didn't want to be smitten, I wanted to be independent and keep my heart as far away from the chance of being broken as possible. But I couldn't help myself, my heart already belonged to you. Thankfully it was safe with you.  Despite my horrible memory (you know about it better than anyone), I remember a night at the ballpark over 12 years ago like it happened yesterday. It was one of those life changing moments that etches itself in your mind permanently. Your ballgame was over and there was a little boy about 4 years old wrestling with you and you gave him a piggyback ride. He adored you, I think almost as much as I did. I was a senior in high school and had been searching for a college not a husband. But, at that moment I knew you were the man I was going to marry. I knew I wanted you to be the man giving piggyback rides and tickling my kids one day. Of course, I did not tell you that. (Sassy magazine taught me better than that. :)  

Almost 11 years and 3 kids later, I am eternally grateful you are the man God chose not only to be my husband, but the Daddy of my children.  I am thankful that you provide for us, encourage us, and support us. I am thankful that you invest in us, listen to us, and laugh with us. I am thankful you've learned to put little girl's hair in buns and that you make sure our son gets to his ballgames early for extra practice with you. I am thankful you explain things to our kids that I will never be smart enough to explain. I am thankful for the way you love me because I know you are teaching our kids how to love someone when their turn comes. (BTW, I'm pretty sure you've ruined it for every guy who tries to woo our girls. Their expectations and standards are going to be high.) Mostly, I'm thankful for piggyback rides and tickles and giggles. This parenting thing is hard, but it is lots of fun too, especially with you! I was pretty clueless at the age of 18, but it seems that there was one thing I was right are a great Daddy!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

I just don't think there is anything better than a rainy day with nothing on the agenda but reading fun books and watching movies. Hanging out in yoga pants and eating a picnic in the living room. That's what we did yesterday, and it was so fabulous. 

Of course, there are times I don't like rainy days. That would be anytime I have to actually go outside on one. I tell ya, my hair was not created for the level of humidity that comes with summer rain. Mostly I don't like those days because I spend most of it thinking how I am wasting a perfectly good napping and movie watching day having to be productive. Sad story, right? :)

Well, last Thursday was one of those rainy days I was out and about. Not only was it raining in Northwest Florida, but it felt like it was raining a little in my heart, too. I taught Tiny Tot dance camp in the mornings last week and pre-school VBS at night and I had the best time. But in the midst of those sunny spots, I was dealing with some tough personal things and by Thursday exhaustion had set in and that is never a good thing. I'm a lot like the 4 year olds I was teaching in that I am prone to some afternoon meltdowns when I am tired. So, basically I was tired and grumpy and running yet another errand. I had just dropped  the kids off at the house so I at least had the advantage of being able to think straight for a few minutes. I was not so kindly letting God know how I felt about some health issues I've been dealing with. As I was going through my frustrations and fatigue induced mood swing, I passed a man. In a wheelchair. With no legs. He did have an umbrella. I had a moment of repentance. Yes, my problems could be worse. As I drove I moved on from health issues to the fact that I still haven't found a job. Seconds later I passed a lady in a fast food uniform. Walking to work. In the rain. I'm sure because she had no other choice. And I was reminded how blessed I am that I am in a position to be able to wait for the kind of job I want, and that I will have a vehicle to get me to it.

God gave me an attitude check that afternoon, but He wasn't done. That night at VBS one of my sweet students told me, "I love the rain!" I agreed that I did too, and immediately began dreaming of a lazy day on my couch. Then she said, "It makes everything grow!" 

Later that night I was sharing with Josh about the people God had used to offer me some perspective. I realized that that lesson was more than just an attitude check. God helped me to understand that regardless of circumstances, the advantage that I had over those two people was that I was protected from the rain in my vehicle. I still had to get out in the storm, but I had a different level of protection. That is what He offers all of His children who are willing to put their faith in Him. We still encounter the storms of life, but we can rest in His protection and know that He will bring us through it.

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. "

~Psalm 5:11

Even as I shared this I found myself still questioning why there seem to be times when the rain just won't stop in our lives. And I remembered the very wise words of my precious student. "I love the rain! It makes everything grow!" 

2 Kings 19:25 tells us, 
" Their people, drained of power, 
    are dismayed and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
    like tender green shoots, 
like grass sprouting on the roof,
    scorched before it grows up. "

We've all seen what happens during times of drought. Plants are scorched, they can't survive. They don't have what they need to grow. Sometimes it is hard to look at the challenging things in our lives and see how they accomplish anything good. We don't think of those things as nourishing us the way water nourishes plants, but it is true that we often don't grow until the rain comes.