Monday, January 18, 2010

The invitation

This morning I was invited to a tea party.

I haven't been to a tea party since I was a little girl, so I was so excited! 

I wanted you to meet some of the other guests.

Meet "Sea Horse Freddie"

Meet "Tiger Run Fast" (That's his Indian name, I guess)

Meet "Silly Monkey"

Meet our bird friends, "Pepper" and "Big Headed Bird"

Meet "Chocolate Donut"

And lastly, "Freddie"

It was the best tea I've ever had.

Oh yah...and I had a donut, too.
The best kind of donut...the one that doesn't add a pound.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Calling out for moral support....

Well, first I want to update you on my progress with Resolution #2, working out.  It's going fabulously.  In fact, I'm on day 11 and I feel stronger already..... very sore, but stronger.  I'm eating well...not sleeping as much as I would like...but, for the most part, doing exactly what I hoped I would. 

However, right now, I really want a cupcake.


OK, I know there are many, many mothers out there who have dealt with this dreaded issue: 
going back to work.

If you've followed me for any time at all, you know about our financial woes issues around here.  We have been faithful to do all that we know to do, in order keep Mama home.  Well, it looks like our backs are up against a wall.  This might be the time I have to go to work outside the home.  And Mama is struggling with it a little I'm sure most women do when they face this. 

Any words of encouragement out there?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Having children makes you humble

We've been memorizing Ephesians 6:24 around here:  "In your anger, do not sin". 

Last night, on our way to a class at church, we were having fun in the car seeing who could remember certain verses.  The last verse we recited as we got out of the car was Eph. 6:24.

After class, I went to the children's area to pick up my kids, and my 3 1/2 year old had this very "guilty" look on his face.  As I went to hug him, he told me, "I have poop in my pants." 

Let me just tell you....we have worked...and worked....and prayed...and scolded...and rewarded...and prayed some more....and rewarded some more....and so on and so get the idea.  THIS issue is my button that will throw me into orbit.  NOT because I'm not willing to work on it.  But because, if you knew my son, you would know he is one of the most head-strong kids you will ever come across.  And on THIS issue, he shines. 

He CAN do it.  He CHOOSES to hold the power. 

So we have gone round and round and round.  Anyway...I digress.

So, last night, I lost my cool.  But instead of yelling...or down-talking him.....I grew cold and silent...and sulked.  He knew I was mad.  My thought process the entire time I was behaving this way, was "I don't want him to do this to PLEASE me.  I want him to make the right choice."  But I stayed angry.   And distant.

I was cold to him as he tried to engage me in conversation on the way home.  I was cold to him as I gave him a bath.  I was cold to him as I dressed him for bed and went to tuck him in.  He didn't challenge me at all.  He knew. 

Once he was in bed, I was going to just simply say his prayer, put him to bed and get out of his room.  I was still too mad to engage with him.  BUT...I decided to go ahead and ask him, "what do you want to pray for tonight?"  He said:  "I want to pray that God will help me be a big boy." 

OH.  My heart melted.  He WANTS to do differently.  He doesn't know HOW to necessarily make it happen on his own.  He GETS least the asking God for help part. 

How precious.  I softened.  And then, just as instantaneously, the Lord brought to my mind, "In your anger, do not sin."...and then, "Let your GENTLENESS be evident to all."  Phil 4:5.  I may not have been harsh, but I was not gentle. At all. 

As we prayed together, we asked God to forgive Mommy for my ungentle response and attitude.  AND we asked God to help my sweet little one to ask for help from a grown-up when he needs to go to the bathroom.  Our hearts are mended. 

Today is a another day.  Thank God His mercies are new every morning.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


A serious topic for the hang in there with me. 

I don't think I ever consciously thought (or admitted out loud), "Am I significant?" "Am I enough?"  "Do people like me?"  "Do they choose me?" 

I am discovering that my life has been full of search for significance. 
And how, I'm discovering, this plays out in my immediate life is.....

"Is my home nice enough?"
"Are my children well behaved enough?"
"Does my husband tell me enough that he thinks I'm doing a great job at this mothering thing?"
"Will so-and-so think that what I just said was stupid?"
"Will my new community group judge me if they really know me?"
"Will my Bible Study group think I'm spiritual enough?"
"Am I creative enough?"
"Am I organized enough?"
And it even plays out in blogging..."Is my blog interesting or "captivating" enough?

I'm tired of trying so hard.  Even though I am just now realizing (or naming it) that I have been trying so hard. 

I think it's high time to truly grow up and  find my significance in Christ alone....the one who truly, deeply knows and loves me anyway.  

To Him, my home is nice enough.  He provided it.  He wants us to fill it with the things that matter:  love and forgiveness for each other, hospitality to others and instruction to our children about living a life that is honoring to Him.

To Him, my children's hearts are more important than their behavior. 

To Him, my heart for my husband is more important to God than what Bill says or doesn't say to me on a daily basis. 

To God, I don't have to be spiritual enough, or creative enough, or more witty or insightful...He loves me just as I am.  He made me.  His desire for me is that my heart is right before Him.

To God, this blog is provided as a way to journal thoughts, stories and family photos.  It's an outlet of expression.  I can so easily get caught up in the comparison game, but God wants me to be honoring in what I say.  Period.  Honoring to Him.  Honoring to my husband and family.

The search for significance....the term has been used so much and yet the "solution" is still sought after.  We still play our lives for an audience that doesn't truly matter.  What matters is what GOD thinks of me.  What matters is how HE sees me.  Even when the voices in the world are loud, God's voice is to be heard louder.

How do we do that?

We fill our heart and head with TRUTH...God's Word.  And we run over it again and again and again in our hearts and minds.  We bank our life on it.  We live by it.  We claim it.

And everytime we pick up our script and start playing life to the larger audience, and discover that it doesn't work, we go back to where the Truth is and fill our hearts and heads again.  And we do this as much as it takes to find significance in Christ alone.

...Be made new in the attitude of your minds...
Ephesians 4:23

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tomato Tea

This is the latest craze around our house.

One night, when my husband could not breathe when he was supposed to be sleeping, he found this recipe on-line as a cure for severe sinus congestion. Supposedly these ingredients are known for their medicinal properties.  Using these ingredients together is supposed to help heal sinus/ear infections, colds, coughing and sore throat.  It was mentioned that it has even been found to kill flu germs and strep throat. 

I don't know about all that, but I do know that it tastes fantastic...and depending on how much tabasco you put in it, it just might curl your eyelashes, too!!  What a bargain, huh?!

Tomato Tea Recipe
2 cups V8 Juice
2-3 cloves garlic crushed (use more if you can) *I used minced from a jar
2 T Lemon Juice
Hot Sauce (the more, the as much as you can handle)

Mix and heat in a pan.  Sip slowly.  Re-warm as needed to get the full effects of the fumes.  It's all natural and healthy, so drink as much as you want or need until you are sure the infection is gone. 


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

" this poison control?"

Tonight, my 3-year-old comes bouncing into the kitchen, smiling from ear to ear, with a "milk moustache"...only it's red.  I said, "baby...what have you been drinking?" 

"My medicine!"

"What medicine?"

"My 'cough syrup'"


"Show me, sweetie, what are you talking about?"

He then happpily and bouncily (is that a word?) runs excitedly to the bathroom and shows me.

How is it even possible for a person only about 3 feet tall to reach up into a cabinet (that I, at 5'9", have to myself reach UP to get into), pull out "cough syrup", remove the CHILDPROOF LID, and consume 2 full medicine cups of this:

This is a 32 lb. kid....drinking 6+ tsps. of this!  His "normal dosage" (please don't think we dole this out like candy!) is 1 tsp. 

After NOT handling it well with my reaction, I called poison control.  They informed me that he would probably sleep.  Very hard.  Immediately.

He is.  7:00 pm.....LIGHTS OUT.  His idea. 

Lessons Mama has learned:
(1)  My kid is a make-it-happen-kind-of-guy.  If he wants something, he will make it happen.  This will make for an amazing adult...but a child to watch like a hawk!
(2)  For obvious reasons, I will be checking all the childproof lids on all the meds tomorrow. 
(3)  If I ever need him to sleep at 7:00 PM, "accidentally" leave the lid loose on the Nyquil.  I AM KIDDING, PEOPLE.....PLEASE DO NOT CALL CPS.

We're grateful he's okay.  He gave his Mama quite a scare tonight.

Letting go of expectations

Nope, I've not been feeling good.  Neither has Mommy or Daddy or big brother. 
What a way to start a New Year, huh?
We've been making lots of hot chocolate.  It's super cold outside. 
We've also watched quite a bit of Scooby Doo.

Mommy's first week of twenty-ten was not what she expected.
She really hoped to get a new, fresh start to this year. 
But.....that's not the way it's worked out really.

Mommy says that is part of what God is teaching her. 
She needs to let go of any expectations, not get frustrated, and live each day, loving her family well.

Maybe our fresh, new week can start NEXT Monday.
In the meantime, we're all getting a lot of squeezes around here:

We'll all be back up and running full speed ahead soon.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions #3 and #4....

Resolution #3:
Sleep.  More.
Get in my room on time. 
Then, I'll most likely be to bed on time. 
Which will enable me to get up on time. 
And I won't be grumpy as often. 
My husband and kids will thank me for this one.

Resolution #4:
Read more.  I know it's not the highest of aspirations to only plan on reading 8 books in one year.  But give me a break, people.  It's about the best I can hope for at this stage in my life.

Currently I am reading (and enjoying!):

The Well-Versed Family by Caroline Boykin is really good!  I heard her speak here in the Dallas area recently and was really moved by her heart.  Her book is about practical ways to help get scripture into the hearts and minds of our kids.  I've been putting some of her ideas into practice and my kids are responding beautifully.  There is nothing more precious to me than watching my kids internalize the Word of God. 
My rating (thus far):  5 out of 5.

I am also finishing up:

Fascinating Womanhood is about marriage and how to become "fascinating" to your man.  It's chocked full of great information and practical applications...and isn't for someone who is the least bit feminist.  I'm learning a lot and enjoying it immensely, but also know full well that several years ago, it quite possibly might have offended me immensely. :)
My rating 4.5 out of 5.

I better go...I'm supposed to be reading......

These thoughts....

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog!  It's such an outlet for me.  I am blessed if you read it.  I am thankful, if you walk away with any nugget of information or encouragement.  I have enjoyed "getting to know" some sweet people I wouldn't have otherwise known.

And I love your comments!  Please keep them coming.  That's one of the ways I know you are reading it.  Another way I know people are reading is for you to "sign up" as a "follower".  This helps me know that my time invested in this means something.  My "following" numbers are low, but DAILY I have others respond to me by e-mail or in conversations about something you read.  I'd love to know you are out there!  :)  Or another easy way to let me know you "stopped by", is to sign up on the Blog Frog in the right margin. 

Yes, this blog is an outlet for me.  But I also am constantly soul searching my way through it.  Do I need to change it?  Do I need to have a more focused topical blog?  Do I need to just keep it little bitty and make it be a "what's happening in our family" blog, so relatives and friends can keep up with our lives?

Then I ask...what does GOD want with this blog?  So...I am searching.  I will continue.  And I will work on it...and improve it.  If I know you are interested.  I will actually invest energy...and decide what direction I should take it in for twenty ten.

Please let me know if you are enjoying it!  That helps me know how to proceed.

Thanks!  Happy 3rd day of this New Year....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolution much as I hate to admit it!

For only the 2nd time in my 40 years of life, I am adding the resolution to get in shape (along with the rest of America) in 2010.  Actually, for only the 2nd time in my life, have I needed to.  I know, I know...before you log off now due to irritation, please know that there is a difference between FIT skinny and UNFIT skinny.  I may have been skinny most of my life...but definitely not always fit!  Regardless, now....I am 40....and neither fit NOR skinny.  Nice. 

So, I have a plan in place.  I actually gave myself until Monday, the 4th, to I get one more day to indulge in fattening delights!  Nine years ago, I undertook the Body for Life challenge. It's a 3-month nutrition and exercise plan....and fairly easy to do.   I really liked it...and loved the results I got.   So now at 40 (and two babies later), I will try once more.

Today I took care of planning out the menu Bill and I will eat next week...and bought all the groceries.  We're set and ready to go!  I'll update you mid-week next week, when I feel like I've been hit by a mack truck.

I must admit, although I am looking forward to feeling like I look main reason nine years later for doing this program again is to be healthy.  I want to take care of that which God has given me.  I will do my part to see that my sweet boys have a healthy, present Mom...and Bill has a vibrant, energy-filled wife.  If I get to actually wear a bikini this summer, then that is just a bonus.

What about you?  Do you have any fitness goals this year?

Simple Resolutions

I told you I'm a New Year's Resolution maker.  I thought I'd take a few of them and share them with you in the next few days.  I'd love to let you know what God has laid on our hearts around here for twenty ten.  Maybe I'm telling you so you can offer some encouragement...or maybe because if I speak the words out loud in writing, then I have to follow through.  :)  Either way, thanks for letting me share. 

In two thousand nine, Crystal offered much inspiration to me in the ways of frugal living.  I'm so thankful I found her blog! She has been a true blessing. In this post, she talked about how she and her husband saved up cash to buy their first house this next year.  She started out 2009 with 33% saved.  And ended the year with 100% saved.  Amazing!  So she inspired me and got me to thinking....

It's been awhile since I posted about our debt payoff journey.  The last time I posted (in June), we were at 64% to our goal.  Since that time, we have had some major set-backs financially.  My husband's job became 100% full-commission, as he is trying to build a business in a recession.  That scared me.  But it didn't scare God.  It didn't even make Him flinch. 

I could recount time after time of God's faithfulness to our family during the past several months.  No, we haven't received an official paycheck since September, but we've not missed one payment thus far, not put anything on a credit card, not missed a meal and had a beautiful, sweet Christmas.  God is so faithful! 

And looking back, it is amazing.  Since the last post, we have even moved from 64% to 74% of our goal!  How is that even possible?!  God is so good. 

So...the number one resolution in this house for this year is:  DEBT PAYOFF
This is it.  There is a line drawn in the sand. 

My personal theme for this year as well is SIMPLIFY.  This should be easy in the realm of our financial goals.  Life can't get too complicated and busy when you have to say "NO" a lot.  We will have one more year of participating in less, so we can walk out of twenty ten debt free, by the grace of God!

In future posts, I will share with you some of the ways we plan to make that happen this year.  I also eagerly anticipate God showing up~again~in big and small ways.

Do you have any goals this next year relating to finances in particular?

Friday, January 1, 2010


Wow...can you believe it?  Twenty-ten is here.  Two thousand nine is past.

Looking back on 2009, I see milestones of growth....huge financial obstacles to overcome, a new church, enormous spiritual growth, deep new friendships formed, a death in our family, blessings upon blessings to our family by the generosity of others and potty-training nightmares challenges. We were blessed with great relationships, health, and a rich family life.  I am thankful to God for His provision, care and protection.

I am so excited about twenty ten!  Are you someone who likes to make resolutions?  I so am.  I'm a list maker. I'm a freak for keeping track of life on paper.  (Which explains why we have a minor paper organization problem in our house...I make sub lists for my lists.)

I have chosen a theme for myself in twenty ten.  Believe it or is S-I-M-P-L-I-F-Y.  Yes, I know that is hard to believe.  How often have I talked about it this past year?  I did actually begin the process of simplifying our life around here in two thousand nine...but that is my THEME for this coming year.  I hope to help make life for our family as sweet, simple, non-complicated and faith/family focused as possible!  I can't wait to share the process with you. 

We have had a low key New Year's Day around here.  I have a sicky little one...he has a cold.

He has a low-grade fever, a horrendous cough, a pillow around his neck, due to a crick...AND a nasty bruise on his forehead from a slamming door last night.  Happy New Year, baby doll!  May it only go uphill from here! 

Did you have your black-eyed peas today???  We had our favorite black-eyed pea soup. it doesn't take the best pictures...but YUM!!!!


16 -ozs. dried black-eyed peas
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 T olive oil
6 cups water
32-ozs. can chopped tomatoes, undrained
3 cups chicken broth
1 T chicken bouillon granules
2 jalapeno peppers, unseeded and chopped
1 T salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Bring peas and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven; cook 10 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.  Drain and remove from Dutch oven.

Saute onion and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in Dutch oven until tender.  Add peas, 6 cups water and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasinally, 1 hour or until peas are tender.  Yield:  10 cups

May twenty ten be a blessed year for you!  I look forward to all God has in store for us.