Tuesday, September 30, 2008

just a little update

Like everyone else in the world today, I have too much on my plate. I don't know why I feel compelled to write that fact because it doesn't elicit any sympathy from anyone, nor does it make anyone feel any better. Honestly, does anyone know anyone who is not running ragged, burning it at both ends, or going insane?

Our anniversary trip was great for us. Sometimes it does take 5 days to start conversing like adults and laughing about "what-not" again. And, when you get to our stage in life it takes 5 days to remember why you married each other in the first place. On a funnier note, except for the color of the water (deep, rich, almost neon turquoise blue and blindingly white sand which could only come from our Creator), I would not have known we were in a foreign country. Cancun, as a destination, is much like Myrtle Beach - over kill. There is a Hooters, Outback, Ruth Chris's, a Wal-Mart, Sam's and Costco (no joke). As long as we stayed in our resort, I was pretty content. Well, maybe too content. As I wrote on my facebook page...who knew that an "all-inclusive" resort and wildly developing "muffin top" go hand in hand. I ate like a lioness after a long drought. Gluttony at it's finest. So, I am glad to be home. Five days away from the kids is about all I and my waistline can take!

I started this blog entry last night. Frankly, there is just no time at the moment to gather my thoughts because I cleaning for market this morning. But, to help me remember - here are future entry updates:

1. Soccer - both Ethan (very surprisingly decent, hard-working, a coaches dream) and Sadie (feels compelled to play defense, still not too sure what she is doing, played in the POURING rain Sunday). A funny story about the defectively working umbrella in the POURING rain with my long-long-long time friend Angela. Have you dried out, yet, Angela?

2. Lily's incessant need to whine and scream. Jay threatens not to take her camping with the scouts this weekend if she doesn't stop. It is like a cork in a wine bottle (get it - whine/wine?) She stops immediately and lets out a little "sorry."

3. My frustration over the lack of decent clothes for boys ages 8. Not in the children's section, yet, not ready for AE and the like where skulls adorn everything. What is UP with that? Why is this attractive?

4. The sweet melodic sound of my child singing - Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path. Melts my heart.

5. The beginning of American Heritage Girls next week - I am leading 1st and 2nd grade girls - pray for me in this endeavor!

6. Very fulfilling ScrapPink breast cancer benefit last week. Learned lots, finished some decent layouts, found some new techniques and products. Thought about her. She would-have-been 39th brithday was yesterday.

7. Sick child - Sadie. The best sickness ever - no clean-up and lots of sleep! She is such a snuggle bug when she isn't feeling well.

8. Why we rent our house for market? Why I can't find anyone who will clean for $10/hour? My current person - who is great - wants $15 - more than my first few jobs out of college. I could go on for days about this. Looking for a housekeeper (not quite an Alice from Brady Bunch, but more that idea than a cleaning service) for a couple days a week so that I can help with the business more and CANNOT find anyone.

9. Have hired #5 and #6 at the office. Very excited as we should be set for a little while.

Gotta head off with a trash bag in hand to Sadie's and Ethan's rooms. So long happy meal toys, little bits of paper, broken crayons, party goody bag plastic!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Few Words

I am running out of time as we leave for a little getaway to celebrate 10 years of marriage. We will be away for 5 whole days...ahhhhhhhh.

But before I leave, I want to make a couple of comments on things that have been brooding and stewing in my mind in order to see how my perspective might change after I have had time to wind down, sit on a beach, have a cold beverage and have no one ask me for a thing...except if I want another cold beverage.

1. People seem to be very, very uptight regarding politics and finances. I can understand the finances. The politics seem so very skewed, so very out of perspective. One president does not change the country. It is a collective effort. If you look very, very closely, the two candidates are really not that different. A radical change would be Ralph Nadar or Ron Paul. But, those that scream change..we need change...still aren't really ready to go out on a limb to take that risk.

2. I am very confused and contemplative about whether I make comments about situations in analysis, in humor or deep down is that simply masked for deep-seeded complaining. Thank you, bible study, for that wrestling.

3. Why is it that 4 pounds is the difference between my clothes fitting and being entirely uncomfortable at the end of the day?

4. The Shack - a means, just like a worship music, bible studies/commentaries, etc. to get people to have their spiritual life rejuvenated, to start seeking him again. People quote songs, other books (including me quoting speakers I have heard), Kay Arthur, John Piper and it is fine. People quote the Shack , are excited about the book, and they might be perceived of making it their own bible. Are these legitimate concerns, is the Shack something we should all be leery of?

5. Why did I feel compelled to try to win (unsuccessfully) tickets off the radio this morning? Tickets go on sale Friday. I have not been to a concert in ages and would really like to go to this one. Maybe even take a child or two with me. I should just order tickets when I get back.

6. Why are we still using irons in this world? Why is that job never done? Why do they even bother with fabrics that require ironing?

7. Why did it take me 4 whole typed pages to write out schedules, carpools, needs for out three children when we will only be gone on a 5 day/4 night trip? Are our lives that complicated? Are my kids that high-maintenance? Seriously, I am analyzing my purpose and motive here.

8. Is the reason why the cookies Ethan had to make for scouts tasted good, but had a little odd texture because he used "I can't believe it's not butter" butter?

9. Will Lily ever get entirely dressed on her own. Have I allowed her to work me with the excuse, "I am scared, Mommy?" Ok, I know the answer to this one as I type it. I don't need 5 more days.

10. What kind of lizard did Sadie catch today? Very large, very unique, a little scary. How does she do it?

Found some great blogs the other day. I will post links when I get back. Seriously great blogs. After reading them I am certain to stop mine any day now! Off to....vacation with my hubby!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

4 And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dog Next Door

Last September a very old blue tick hound quickly set-up house and soon after a nursery in the large red barn next to our house. Our neighbors, who are clearly dog lovers, quickly took to task helping this aged mother and her 7 puppies. My kids heard the news and thus, twice weekly trips to the barn to check on the puppies began. It wasn't long before an ad was put in the paper offering free puppies to good homes. Each visit brought some sadness, particularly from my Sadie, as there were fewer and fewer puppies left. One day, there were only two left along with their mother, who was named Abigail. At that point our neighbor decided to keep the last two puppies and their mother. Sadly, not long after, the mother was bitten by a black widow spider, never fully recovered and was consequently put down.

Our neighbor named the two puppies Euro and Sadie (much to the delight of my own Sadie). Euro has grown into this Goliath of a dog - beautiful shape and coloring like that of a German Shepherd. He is extremely unaware of his size, very active, very curious and thinks everything is a game. Sadie likens to a black lab and is very timid, almost painfully shy, yet sweet. Good dogs, but I am just glad they are not mine!

Our neighbor works retail and is away most days. Given the lack of leash laws in Davidson County, she allows them to roam a bit mainly to have them release some energy. Therefore, upon hearing my kids voices outside, I can usually find Euro and Sadie hanging out in our yard. Our own dog, one-eyed Bobo, doesn't seem to mind in his old age as long as they don't eat his food or sniff his behind. Who can really fault him for that?

Unfortunately, we have started having some "issues" with dear Euro. He is a chewer. The kids toys, shoes left outside, any piece of trash, pool noodles (what a mess) and the worst - the trash. He is so large that he can put his front paws on the side of the toter, flip the lid off and start digging in. Of course he would find an old pull-up from Lily and the vacuum cleaner bag and completely destroy them in the pine needles. Add to that the rain for the past several days and clean up is going to really stink come Saturday (literally and figuratively).

I made the dreaded call to our neighbor whom we really, really like. She was embarrassed (I hated that) and profusely apologized. She even came over and brought rice krispy treats. She adamantly stated that we were to beat him and send him home. Of course, I couldn't do that, but I clearly instructed the kids that they could NOT play with them. Instead they should try to run them away, shout at them, etc. Under no circumstances were they to play with them.

So imagine my surprise this afternoon when I looked out the window to see Sadie (I had no idea she was even outside), in her bathing suit, in the rain, RIDING Euro. What am I saying...I wasn't surprised. I mean I am talking about my Sadie here. But I did emit a little giggle.

Later, after all the kids were in bed, the phone rang. It was our neighbor. "Have you seen Euro? I have been calling him and calling him," she asked. I replied, "Well, he was here most of the afternoon. Let me check outside." I walked to the front door, turned on the front lights. There he was, curled up and fast asleep on our front porch. I said, "He is here." I held the phone up to his ear so he could hear her call him. (We live in the woods, with no visible neighbors). He barely opened his eyes. I told her I would put a leash on him, grab a flashlight and walk him over. She was very appreciative.

So the dilemma. He obviously loves playing with the kids. The kids love him. We have great neighbors. We can hide anything in the garage with the door shut and he won't come in. But when, oh when can we expect the chewing and destruction to end - if ever?!?

You've got mail

I am plowing through a bible study called, "Lord, Change My Attitude."

I know. Why, would I want to do that? Because I need some serious attitude adjusting. It is a great, great study thus far and I am sure it will provide great fodder for future posts.

In light of this study, I even hesitate to write this light-hearted and trivial post. But my attitude toward a certain thing has just approached epic proportions. I have tried to laugh "it" off. I have tried in vain to ignore "it." I have begged others to take care of "it." For the life of me, I cannot begin to understand mindset of those that employ "it." What, you ask, has me all in a twitter?

SPAM! And, I don't mean the famous canned luncheon meat. I must get at least 50 a day.

Seriously, who in their right mind buys Rolex, Patek Philippe, Frank Mueller watches or replicas from some random person promoting the sale in a random email. Along those lines, I don't want real enlargement, spectacular jeweled timepieces or Viagra at $3 a pill. Jerry Myrick, I don't really care if I am the little guy. And, I don't need the real solution to massive gains, scrumptious products of style or girls that will hunt me down in the streets. Jody Goodman, you can give up on getting a response as required by your subject line.

My more than technically proficient husband has promised me that soon we will move to the new server and gone will be these little annoyances. So, there is a solution, I think, in sight.

My bible study has a great definition of complaining - Complaining means to express dissatisfaction with a circumstance which is not wrong and about which I am doing nothing myself to correct. I will allow that 99% of my complaining is sinful under this definition. Further more, this study states (with biblical support) that God hates our complaining and judges our complaining (ouch!).

Using that definition to analyze my current tirade I find that spam is 1) a circumstance that is wrong and 2) a circumstance I cannot correct or risk jeopardizing the IT plans at RaRa.

Could I venture to guess that even Jesus would be a little fed up with Spam?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Enlarge me

I really shouldn't be on here given the magnitude of my "t0-do" list today. However, I was so moved by my Streams in the Desert today that I felt led to post the scripture here:

Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress Psalm 4:1

The visual of this BLOWS me away.

The line I like best in the commentary is this:

It is not a man's thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free THROUGH suffering. He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life's enlargement.

I am sure I will expound on this later, but for now, may it give you food for your day.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday, September 5

Waiting on the cable man, I am. A good time to catch up on blogging, I think. There is a much better vibe going on in my heart at the moment than the start of the previous school year. Other than her funeral and the first few weeks following, it was probably the most difficult period of grief for me. I was certain I blogged about it and went to review it (August 2007), but when reading it realized that it was one of those posts that was somehow deleted in its infancy and never recovered. Recollecting, however, that school year was a new beginning and there I was starting something, significant, without her, for literally, the first time in my life.

We had always made plans about when the girls would start kindergarten. How great it would be to be together, to have some freedom with our days - only little Lily to contend with. Now those plans were gone, never realized, lost. I felt very alone and isolated. In contrast, this new school year seems to just be that, a new school year. She has been gone from the school arena for almost 2 years -wow, to type 2 years. Life continues on...never a doubt about that one!

Ethan started soccer practice Monday. We walked up to the board to find which field his team would practice on. He spoke short, little sentences and he questioned my knowledge of where we were going and what we were doing. I could see his nervous, slightly tense look start growing in his eyes. It made me inwardly nervous for him. All in all, it was a great practice and I was delightfully surprised how well he did in the several laps of running they were asked to do. He only knew one boy on his team from Upward basketball. I told him it was a fantastic way to get to know some other boys. He is stretching his wings a bit and he spurns my public displays of affection. In fact, he is starting to ask questions about my behavior or plans thereof. Mommy is just not as cool anymore. Unfortunately, this might be remedied by more time with his dad. However, the business is so incredibly consuming. Thankfully, scouts is starting back up and Jay is able to clear some weekend time now.

Sadie starts practice this Monday. I am sure there will be much to blog, like several years ago when Sadie spent much of her practice carrying her pocketbook around (yes, while practicing). Actually, it was my fake green Prada bag. She does have taste, afterall. Sadie will also start American Heritage Girls (previously Girls Scouts) in October. I am supposed to help lead, and I want to. However, I have my doubts that Sadie will be able to handle my leadership in that type of settings. She has had two very, very fantastic days at school. In fact, I was told it was her best day ever. (insert "best day ever" by SpongeBob). Given that she has same teacher from last year (not just counting the first 2 weeks of this school year - which would be a pitiful reason to be excited), I am pleased. It did make me stop and think, "Hmmmm, really. So, just how bad have all the other days been?" I always thought there might have been one incident or something a day. It never dawned on me that maybe the bar for Sadie might have been so low that even if she had little grumblings all day, it was still considered a "good day." I should just be pleased with the progress and move on.

For her reward (actually it was already planned), we headed to the HP Library and then Krispy Kreme. We had such a pleasant time. That word describes it perfectly - pleasant. In fact, the kids were very sweet, agreeable...just lovely. There, another one of those words - lovely. As we were getting ready to leave KK, an older lady walked by me and said, "You are such a good mom. You handle them real well." I just about spat out the last of my water and crueller. I responded, "Oh, are you talking to me? Thank you." and then was completely speechless. What I was really thinking was, "Ha! Are you kidding me? Lady, if you only knew the reality of my mothering." But, let me tell you, it was such an encouragement to me to persevere that I have vowed to make similar compliments to other moms. We should all make a point to do that.

Lily, aka Little Lil', Lily Loo, Lulu Beans, Stinky Pete, Miss Poopy Pants, began gymnastics Tuesday. I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while. She was absolutely the most enthusiastic and energetic student, but she is definitely lacking in the ability department. However, you would never mention this given her belief that she is...a star. Coupled with the fact that she was completely oblivious that her leotard continued to ride up into her chunky of a heiny, not unlike a thong, made for lots of giggles and comments from the mom section. The differences between Lily and Sadie are innumerous. But one that was so completely clear that morning was that Sadie never had to be taught how to do the circuits. She just did them, nearly flawlessly, at age 4. I never saw much improvement because honestly, she was already very good. However, with Lily we have only one way to go...Up. She belly-flopped when she was supposed to be doing donkey kicks. She logged rolled instead of front rolled. She actually broke out in a sweat. And, she kept trying to slink (in the truest sense of the word) her way to the front of the line because as she finally told the teacher, "I want to be the line leader." I am really looking forward to seeing her progress!

Lily also started 5-day a week, 4 year old preschool. She darted in her class without even looking back. I had to track her down to get my much needed kiss and hug. She had been begging to go every morning since Ethan and Sadie began school. She tackled her "summer work" with such exuberance and ardor. Therefore, I was not surprised that she left me standing in the dust of the doorway. But, I miss my constant companion of the past 4 years. The year is going to fly by. I just know it. Kindergarten will come and she will be permanently gone from me...solidified and irreversible. I am not ready to be "rid" of my children. Despite the intense irritation, frustration and utter defeat, is the ten fold feeling of loving them and having them under my constant wing and shadow. This is one time when I would like to scream to Father Time...slow down...it's going way to fast to comprehend, to etch permanently, to even enjoy!

I am typing on the laptop on my bed. Laying beside me is my littlest one. She fell asleep quite suddenly against my arm. I gently laid her back on a pillow. Her glasses smudged with little fingerprints. Black oreo crumbs dried around her mouth. Rhythmic, heavy breathing. Her hand draped gently around my arm. The hair around her forehead slightly moist from the warmth of a good nap. I know there is no good in me that deserves such heaven. Thank you God for sending them to me despite this.