Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Treasure to Trash

When I was 2 years old, my family moved from Texas to Omaha, Nebraska. It was my second move in Air Force life (the first was when I was 4 months old), but it was the first move where I was semi-aware of what was happening. Like a well-trained military wife, my mother had gone through the house and collected all the things we would need for our long haul move and safely closed the items in a bathroom, telling the movers that room was off limits. Among her stored possessions were my bazillion-and-one pacifiers. I, however, didn't know that there was a safe room for our treasures. So, when the truck closed up and pulled off down the street, I ran after it, crying for my beloved pacifiers. My loving daddy, in all his wisdom, turned to my mom at that point and said, "If she thinks they are on the truck, then we will let her believe they are on the truck." Less than a week later, when the truck pulled up outside our new home, I had forgotten all about the pacifiers and never asked for one again.

I think of this story as I contemplate our upcoming move. You see, there are LOTS of things that I wouldn't mind if they didn't make it to our final destination. My kids (and my hubby) have plenty of stuff. They have so much stuff, that they wouldn't notice anything missing for a long while. My kids have so much stuff, they wouldn't be able to take a proper inventory to see if every piece of junk precious treasure makes it to Arkansas. So, as I purge through the closets, drawers, and garage, I think of my daddy's wisdom and my dear mother's patience. If they can put up with a crabby toddler who cried for her pacifier, then surly I can stand up to the emotions that surface if and when a happy meal toy forgotten treasure is discovered to be missing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Always Something

When you have 2 very verbal kids - meaning that they talk ALL.THE.TIME - you are bound to have many opportunities for laughs. Oh, and Hubby is always chiming in with his own wise cracks. Here are a few of the highlights from the past few days.
  • Yesterday we made a quick round-trip to NLR for the home inspection. Brother got to spend the night with a friend, but sister had to endure the 10 hours in the car - along with the 4 hour home inspection and mama measuring all the rooms and taking photos. On the way home, she cracked us up when she proudly claimed, "I see Mr. Moon. I'm so glad Mr. Moon came out tonight. Now we can howl! HOOOOWWWWWLLLLLLLL!" She reminded me of the wild things in the book "Where the Wild Things Are."
  • In NLR, they have a large sign, proudly marking "THE BAPTIST BREAST CENTER." Now, we all know that it is an affiliate of Baptist Hospital. When Brother saw the sign, he was appalled. Then Hubby had to add, "It's a place like Hooters, only it is covered-dish."
  • During the same conversation about the Breast Center, sister loudly proclaimed, "I don't want people looking at my breasts." I'm not sure if she thought we were going to New Orleans instead of NLR, but were proud of her proclamation all the same.
  • We have been talking about getting new furniture for our family room once we move, only hubby and I are in disagreement about what to get. I want to get a leather sectional sofa, but he doesn't like a sectional. The other day, Brother chimed in on the conversation says, "Daddy, Mommy wants a sexual sofa. She really likes the look and feel of the sexual sofa." We, of course, didn't correct him because we were laughing too much. Hubby later told me, "Well, if you had told me that you wanted a sexual sofa, I would have been in all kinds of agreement."

Okay, so now that I've typed this, I see that our humor is mostly inappropriate. Oh well, that is our family. Sorry if it shattered any images for you. :) Hope you at least got a laugh.

P.S. Remember the brief mention of Hubby's scene at Macy's? Well that scene was followed up with a formal letter of complaint sent to the corporate headquarters. They were might prompt in their response, and they are sending us a gift card as a sign of their sincerest apologies. I think Ms. Grouch got a stern talking to.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't Mess with Texas

You know what is worse than a dirty/messy house?

Cleaning for the maid.

Why do we as women do this to ourselves?

Okay, so I'm not really cleaning for the maid - although I have been know to partake in such activity. Not that I have a regular maid service, but each year for my birthday, we pay to have someone come in and clean the house from top to bottom. You know, it gives me a week to put my feet up and enjoy getting older.

So, I have found an activity equally as bad as cleaning for the maid -- unpacking for the packers. You see, we have about 20 10 boxes in the garage that haven't been emptied in the 3.5 years that we have lived here. So, because I'm just so sure that I might throw away a treasure that has been stored away in a old box for 3+ years, I've spent the day going through the boxes, throwing out what I really don't want and putting in a safe place anything that I want to be put into a new box and taken to our new location.


And the terrible thing is that I need to do the same purging/organizing in every room! AUGH! Why do we have so much junk many treasures?

Wordless Wednesday

Thought I'd share this video of my favorite pianist.

Monday, June 22, 2009

First Comes Love ... Then Comes Marriage

Well, I'm back. And I'm here to tell y'all how GREAT God is. The scripture says that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I am certain that is very true. He has a plan and only shows His way - in His time. It has been a process, but I am so excited to tell you dear readers that we have job! We have spent the past few days meeting, greeting, and as all good Baptist folks, eating. I'm so excited to know that Hubby has a FANTASTIC new ministry position. But first, I want to fill in some of the blanks...

When I started this blog thing, I was a discouraged minister's wife. I was looking for a message board or some sort of Yahoo group where I could "chat" with other women who lived in this fish bowl life. When I couldn't find what I was looking for, I decided to write about my own experiences. I am NOT a writer. In school, I would always opt for the standardized test rather than the essay. So, the idea of blogging was a bit scary - and I was unsure of the whole process. I am, however, a journal keeper. So, I just told myself that I had to write my thoughts and feelings as I would in a journal -- unconcerned about the audience.

So, I started my blog. I blog anonymously. I will even confess that my name isn't even Stephanie. My hubby requested that I use a pseudonym to protect the guilty innocent. My friends and family do not know about my blog -- well hubby does, but does that really count?

Then, unemployment happened. Blogging was no longer about the church, but it became a way for me to express my thought and feelings as I sought God during one of the most difficult trials of my life. As I kept writing, I also began reading other blogs. You know how it happens - one click here, then another click there, and before you know it, you are reading a blog that could have been written by you, but the words instead belong to another woman whom you have never met.

Well, that was what happened to me. Through a series of clicks, I wound up in a blog circle of women who knew each other IRL. I was the outsider. When I first read the blogs, they would mention their college - OBU. Well, I just filled in the blanks with my own background and assumed they were from Oklahoma Baptist University - being from Texas, that is the OBU I hear about. As I read more, I came to learn that the OBU was actually Ouachita Baptist and that these women, although they were now spread out across the states, were from Arkansas.

So, do you see where this is going? Back in March, Hubby was contacted by the one. We knew immediately that it was the position we had always hoped and prayed for. I told you earlier how it met my wish list. What I couldn't tell you until now is that we are moving to The Natural State! Hubby's new job is in North Little Rock - and let me tell you - it is so beautiful there! I just love the trees and the hills.

The funny thing is that when we were meeting with the folks these past few weeks, they would always ask, "Do you know anyone, or have any connection to Arkansas?" I never really knew how to answer that question. Would these people understand if I told them that I knew some incredible women from Arkansas, but I only knew them through blogland? Would they understand that God had already given me a love and appreciation for this state because of the random clicks of my computer mouse?

The LORD has been at work in my life - long before I even knew it. He has been preparing the way for me. He has been leading us to Arkansas, but He had to wait until the right time to reveal His plan. Leaving Texas is a difficult decision for me - I have lived here for over 20 years. God know my heart, so He gave me a connection to my new place so I would feel at ease during this transition. I've always claimed, "Wherever He leads, I'll go." I'm very excited to follow Him down this new path! I could go on and on about all the GREAT things He has done, but I am weary from all the weekend activities. I will have to catch you up in the next few days.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sleep Tight! Don't Let the Grouch Bugs Bite

I've been absent from the computer/blogging for a few days - partly by choice, partly because of my crazy-busy schedule and lack of interesting material. I've spent most of the weekend browsing online for Brother some new bedding for his room. When Hubby and I were in NYC, we saw this bedding in Macy's. It was love at first sight for Sister's "big girl room". (For those interested: Tommy Hilfiger - Rooftop Terrace)I totally love it. It is girly, but not too pink. I did NOT buy it in NYC, but I did set my heart on it. So, when it went on sale a few weeks ago, I ordered it. The buying process was quite dramatic and involved a half-dozen visits to the local store, a brush with the grouchiest sales snob I've ever encountered, and an online order to avoid giving the sale to afore mentioned grouch. Plus, the online prices were cheaper than the store prices and there was free shipping. As we said in the 80's - DUH!

Since it came in a few weeks ago, Brother decided that he was tired of his room and needed a re-do. I can't say that I blame him. He has lived in my "fantasy boy" room for 5 years. You see, when I was trying to get pregnant, I committed my future son to the blue Polo Bears bedding by Ralph Lauren. (Forgive the auction stamp - it was the best I could do.)

I love the preppy polo bears, but Brother - not so much! He declared that his room re-do was to be done by his choosing, and the bedding was to be "mature" and not in a theme. Do you know how difficult it is to find decent boy bedding that isn't a theme? Either the bedding makers think boys don't make their beds (which may be true) so bedding isn't important, or they believe that all boys are Peter Pan and don't grow up. I could buy tons of stuff if Brother wanted sports, super heros, cars, trucks, trains, or animals.

Well, I am happy to announce that Brother has made a choice -- and it was ON SALE! Once we move, his new room (which will have painted walls - since we've used the renting excuse to avoid any color commitment thus far) will have this bedding. (Tommy Hilfiger - Clayton)

I really love it! It is a bold choice for Brother. Until March of this year, he had totally sworn off anything plaid - which greatly upset his mother. He has now come to appreciate the Scottish wonder fabric, and likes that this fabric has lots of colors. I think it will be something that he can work with for a long while. Since our money tree died, we didn't buy the coordinating sheets, he will just have navy blue from Wally World - unless of course, he follows his mother's lead and wants orange. (BRIGHT ORANGE was my favorite color as a child. I had an orange wagon, desk, and rocking chair.)

Tonight's purchase did involve some drama, 2 different Macy's, and another brush with The Grouch. Hubby made quite a scene - which for those who know him can only imagine it. In the end, he snatched the bedding from The Grouch, told her he wouldn't be giving her the sale, and marched himself - with me and the kids in tow - to another cash register. He was right in principal, but I was so embarrassed - not that we have plans to mingle with her ever again.

So, that is the bedtime story for tonight. Now we just need to find a house, pack up, and get these kiddos settled into their new rooms.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Like the Pros

Today I learned a useless talent new skill. See what it is?

I was so jealous impressed by all you bloggers who use the strikethrough tool in your blog to make your post longer add humor. So while I was procrastinating cleaning the study I took the time to do some research of my own. Now I can stikethrough like the best of you. I do have to say that the process is a bit tedious takes no effort at all. I'm not quite certain how often I will be using my new skill if ever again. But for today, I am pretty impressed with myself.

That all you get for today. Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

10 on the Tenth - Texas Style

It's that time again. Time to join Meredith for her month blog party at life at 7000 feet. Today I am thinking ahead to our future job and realizing that I will be leaving this wonderful state that I have called home for 25 years. So, for this month, without sounding like a representative from the travel and tourism board, I present to you 10 things I LOVE about TEXAS!

1. Schlitterbahn - This watery wonderland of Central Texas is the best water park in the entire universe! It is filled with fun slides, tube rides, and an uphill water coaster.
2. Blue Bell Ice Cream - I am a food snob when it comes to ice cream. I will only eat Blue Bell. It is simply the best!

3. Mexican Food - It is my favorite food. Hubby could eat it every day. When we were on vacation last year - out of state - we ate at the Mexican restaurant voted "Best of" by the state newspaper. I cannot begin to describe how disappointed we were. Brother still groans about it. I'm convinced we will have to return to Texas for good Mexican food - or learn to make it at home.

4. Dr. Pepper - Now I know you can get Dr. Pepper anywhere, but only in Texas - Dublin, Texas - can you get the real Dr. Pepper - made with Imperial Cane Sugar instead of corn syrup. It is TASTY!
5. Canton Trade Days - Hubby would call it the world's largest junk pile. To me, it is decorator heaven. I can always find treasures for the house, for gifts, etc. in Canton.

6. Barbecue - Now, like the Mexican food, I know I can get barbecue in other places, but there is something about the slow-cooked, smokey flavor of good Texas brisket. YUMMY! Outside Austin, there is one restaurant - The Salt Lick - where you leave the restaurant smelling like a campfire because they cook the meat right there. It is soooooo good.

7. Bluebonnets - Every spring Texas comes alive with the wildflowers. It is my very favorite time of the year - and the best photo op for the kiddos.

8. Football - Football is BIG in Texas, and there is nothing like sitting in a large stadium, cheering on your favorite Big 12 team. To me, it is the official announcement of fall - even if you are sweating in the Texas heat.
9. The State Fair - They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that holds true for the Texas State Fair. It is a huge event each fall - they even give the kids a day off of school and free tickets to attend.

10. The final thing on my list is simple - I love the shape of Texas. It is unique, and there is something about it that makes people love it. I'm pretty sure that not many other people put there state outline in lights on their house at Christmas, but Texans do so with pride. You can buy almost anything with the shape of Texas, including ice trays for Texas shaped ice cubes
and waffles.

You gotta love it!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're Engaged!!!

So, I have started this post a ba-zillion times - only to go back, delete, and start again. I cannot even begin to put into words how I feel about our job search and potential new place of service. I guess it is because I cannot begin to fully express the roller coaster that we have ridden throughout this whole unemployment process. It has been a journey full of high highs and very low lows - days where all I could cling to was Romans 8:28, forcing myself to believe that God would work this for good.

And then, I also have a ton of crazy emotions because I cannot really believe that God has blessed us in such an incredible way. I sit back in awe that God would really be this good to me. Why don't I see that He wants to give it to me? I have to remind myself of Matthew 7:11 "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" All I have to do is gratefully receive.

A month ago, I compared our job hunting to dating. So, I guess the post last week was a brief announcement that we were ring shopping. We knew both parties were interested, but the relationship hadn't been made public. Well, as of Sunday, we are engaged. It has been made known to the world that this church likes us and intends to bring us onto their church staff -- we just need to get past the church vote. (Which I don't foresee to be a big problem)

When you were single, did you make a list of all the qualities you wanted for in your future mate? I sure did! Well, I did the same thing for our job hunt. I am a list girl, and I like to have written down what I am specifically praying for. The most amazing thing is that as I go through that list, this new church seems to have everything I have hoped and prayed for - and let me tell you, some of them are pretty specific!

So, just so you can see how great my God really is, I want to share with you some of my list. Please understand that these are my personal opinions. They are not scientifically accurate, but God knew my heart and He provided what I needed. (Sorry if it creates a book, but I want to record it all)

  1. Good Music Program - We are a musical family. I enjoy singing in the choir, and the kids both enjoy music. So, I wanted a church that had a good children's choir program that would allow them the opportunity to grow their music appreciation. Not only does this church have good choirs, but it also has a fine art program so Brother can take guitar lessons, too.

  2. No Children’s Church - I know I'm in the minority in this, but I truly love worshiping as a family. Brother has attended services with us since he was 4, and I intend for Sister to do the same. I was praying for a church that would not offer a separate service for children because it just creates conflict for my family, when I want my children to be with us.

  3. Pastor who has only served as a Pastor - I have a great love and respect for the man who served as my pastor when I was growing up. In my mind, I think what made him such a great pastor was that it was his true, complete calling. He never served in any other position, and He was committed to his "flock." Now, I know that other men have served in other positions and then been called into the Pastoral position, and I'm not meaning to slight them. I just wanted someone who had only Pastored - and God gave that to me.

  4. Food Services Person - I told you some of these were weird. I wanted to attend a church where they had regular Wednesday night meals. I just need that break in the middle of my week. I remember when Brother was a baby, we attended a church that had Wednesday meals. On some days, the countdown until 5:15 when we could leave for Wednesday church was the only thing that got me over the hump of hump day. I need that in my week.

  5. Staff of 6+ - You know, the Bible says to pray specifically, and this was specific. Hubby is not a Senior Pastor, nor is he a Youth or Music Pastor. He is the next guy on the staff. Throughout our marriage, he has served every combo of positions - education/counseling; education/children; education/discipleship/outreach; etc. So, I prayed that God would put us in a church that had a large enough staff (6 or more) that his job responsibilities would be more specific to his gifts, talents, and calling. At our new church, he will be one of eight! God is so generous!!

  6. One Sunday School - I didn't want to serve in a church so large that my family would feel divided - especially as Brother reaches youth group age. So, I wanted just one Sunday School hour because in my heart it creates unity -- in both the family and in the church.

  7. Personal Secretary for Hubby - Hubby is a busy man and very detail oriented when it comes to his job. He needs someone to come alongside him and help with the email, mail outs, Sunday School records, outreach assignments, etc. Once again, God showed off here because Hubby now has 3 women who will help him in his ministry area.

  8. City Location - This was probably the biggest on my list. I am a city girl. I like the city things like restaurants, shopping, movies, health care, etc. We have served in some small towns, and while they were most definitely the place God put us at the time, they were not always easy for me. As we most all know, there are lots of small southern towns with Baptist churches. I just really prayed for a metro location - and I got it.

  9. Similar Goals/Values - This one is pretty self-explanatory. I really prayed for a staff situation that felt like an extension of our family. After all, Hubby will spend most of his time away from us with the staff. I cannot begin to express that camaraderie that exist among the men and women of this church staff. When we met them for dinner the other night, we could have stayed and visited until the restaurant closed. It was immediate family.

  10. Outside Referral - This was sort-of the "fleece." I prayed that God would provide a job for us that we didn't go searching for. This church was the only church Hubby interviewed with that did NOT receive a resume from him or from someone we know. Instead, a friend of Hubby's forwarded the resume to one of his friends. That friend, then forwarded Hubby's resume to the pastor. It was a total God thing!!

So, there you have it. My list of God at work. I wish I could sit down with each of you and tell you all the little signs that God provided along the journey. When Hubby and I went to bed the other night, we counted how many churches he spoke with that were not the right fit for us. We counted 8. Eight churches that were put along our path that were not the one God was offering for us.

So, I will wrap this up with a few more scriptures that I have clung to during this process:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14

"We are pushed hard from all sides. But we are not beaten down. We are bewildered. But that doesn't make us lose hope. Others make us suffer. But God does not desert us. We are knocked down. But we are not knocked out." 2 Cor 4:8-9

Gladitudes - Welcome Summer!

I'm joining in Gretchen's gratitude party this week. Her weekly posts really bring a smile to my face, so I'm going to share the joy.

  • I'm so glad it is finally summer so hubby and I no longer have to "discuss" who is driving carpool in the mornings and I no longer have to make a lunch at ungodly morning hours.
  • I'm glad that is it 9:30 here and Sister is still asleep. My day is so much better when I can get some stuff done before she wakes. (Of course, I have to add that I jinxed myself. She started crying in her bed before I even got done with this bullet point.)
  • I'm glad that Brother got up at 7 am and entertained himself without waking me.
  • I'm over-the-top glad that Hubby has a wonderful job prospect. If all goes as planned, we will be relocating at the end of the month.
  • I'm glad that I got to celebrate the 4th anniversary with a special church family yesterday. I just love the people at CNBC and to celebrate their 4th anniversary in their new building was FANTASTIC! I wore a smile all day because I am just so thrilled for them.
  • I'm glad that I have my menu planned for this week and that Hubby and I are working together to eat healthier. I need help in this area! I'm just glad I have a hubby who will eat veggies with me. (Now, if only I could convince Brother of the veggie goodness)
  • I'm glad for the motivation to weed out all the superfluous junk lying around my house. My locate charities and junk yard will reap so many blessings from my new-found need to purge.
  • I'm glad for Sister's new desire to wear a hand-me-down leotard and tutu for the entire day. It just makes me smile to see her in it.
  • I'm so thankful for a God who has lead me through one of the darkest times of my life. I'm thankful for that still, small voice who kept me going when I wanted to curl up and sleep for days. I'm thankful that He had a plan and was at work to bring it to fruition. I'm thankful for his promise in Isaiah 30:21 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.' "
  • I'm thankful for friends -- real-life ones and blog-world ones -- who prayed with us through this journey.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Playing Catch-up (Who's the Mustard?)

I've been away for a few days. We've been visiting the one. It was a great visit, and I will for sure share more details in the coming days. Today, I just wanted to leave you with a quick update.

A few months ago, I asked you to pray for Tucker Beam. Well, last weekend, Tucker lost his long, brave fight against cancer. I HATE cancer! My prayer was always that God would use Tucker and his story for His glory. Last Wednesday, 40 people received the free gift of God's salvation at Tucker's funeral. What a testimony of a wonderful family who was willing to allow God to use their tragedy for His triumph! Please continue to pray for the Beam family.

As Hubby and I have traveled our own difficult journey the past few months, God has been a constant in my mind. I am a musical kind-of person. It seems like I have songs running through my head all the time. I can look back on different seasons of my life and remember different "theme songs" for the events. I've had a few theme songs the past few months, but I think the one that has played in my mind the most is "Bow the Knee" by Chris Machen and Mike Harland (arr. Tom Fettke):

Bow the Knee
There are moments on our journey following the Lord
Where God illumines ev’ry step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers,
turn to Him.

Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father
when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and
believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand
the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall,
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise,
don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.

Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father
when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven
and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand
the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

This isn't my favorite performance of the song, I much prefer the choral arrangement, but here is a sampling. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

LORD, Help my Unbelief

Have you ever prayed for something so badly, but never really believed it would come true? Have you talked all the right talk, but never really trusted it in your heart? Have you ever gotten everything you ever wanted and stood back in awe of God? That is my life story today. I am reminded of the father in the 9th chapter of Mark. I am praying, "LORD, help my unbelief." The strange thing is that while I'm praying, God has already been at work to answer my prayer - and not just answer it, but "do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."

So, what has God been up to? Well, we have been in conversations with the one for the past few days. In fact, Hubby and I are scheduled to go and meet with the staff this weekend. I have been in prayer for this visit, asking God to show us discernment and good favor. Well, last night we were contacted by one of the ministers. He explained that they feel confident in Hubby's character, competence, and compatibility. So, they want to make sure we make time to talk money with them while we are in town this weekend. They also want to present us to the church as the candidate for this position, planning for a church vote in a few weeks.

It is such good news!! Want to know my reaction? I cried -- BIG tears! It wasn't a happy cry - although I am happy. It was a scared, overwhelmed, guilty cry. I am so amazed that God is so GREAT! I am so humbled that He answered prayers that I was even afraid to voice aloud, but He knew because He knows my innermost being. (I will save those details for another post). I'm scared, because I do not feel like I deserve this huge blessing, yet I know that God is giving it to me and my family.

So, I've dug out all my scriptures on belief - 'cause I need a refresher course.

"If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray." Matthew 21:22

"Then they asked him, 'What does God want from us? What works does he want us to do?' Jesus answered, 'God's work is to believe in the One he has sent.'" John 6:28-29

"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

"Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief." Hebrews 3:16-19

I don't want to be like the ancient Israelites. I want to believe and follow God into our promised land. God has given us a good thing. I am humbled and very grateful.

Pity ... Party of 1, Your Table's Ready!

I'm tired - more like exhausted! I don't feel like I've slept in YEARS. I've been so stressed out by all this stuff: unemployment, job hunting, possible moves, Brother's behavior issues, life transitions, etc. I have kept too many balls in the air -- trying to keep my family together. All of a sudden, I feel like it is coming down on top of me, and I feel like I've failed.

My mother is coming to keep the kids for the next few days. You know what that means? My house has to be immaculate. I cannot just stuff things in the unseen corners and tell her to stay out of that room. She will have full access to all nooks and crannies for 48 hours. She will be so disappointed in my housekeeping skills.

  • I have washed the same load of towels 3x's because they get forgotten in the washer.
  • In the midst of poverty, I have resorted to dining out as the best option to keep my kitchen clean and my sanity (relatively) intact. Why won't my family eat sandwiches?
  • Despite the dining out, my dishwasher is full of clean dishes and my sink is full of dirty ones.
  • All my laundry baskets are full of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. In the meantime, my family keeps wearing clothes, so the hampers are almost full, too.
  • The only bed with clean sheets is Sister's - because she keeps peeing on them during the night.
  • The only person with a good supply of clean underwear is Sister - because she keeps peeing in them during the day.
  • You can write my "to-do" list in the dust on my furniture.
  • My refrigerator has too many containers of "mystery leftovers" that need to be thrown out.
  • I'm considering getting a dog so I could eliminate the sweeping chore. Don't dogs eat crumbs?
  • I have a garage that doesn't hold any cars because we began "cleaning" it 2 months ago.

It is just too much for me right now. I'm going to take a nap. I'll be in a better mood later. :)

Monday, June 1, 2009


WOW! Another busy weekend! I cannot believe all the stuff we packed into the past 3 days. I am tired from all the running around, and I'm beginning to remember how HOT summers can be in Texas. My body needs to re-adjust to these temperatures.

One of the things we did this weekend was pose for family pictures. Now, I cannot begin to tell you how much I loathe having my picture taken. I am usually the one behind the camera, capturing all the fun and successfully avoid having to see myself in full color. But, Hubby's new beau (a.k.a. The One) requested a photo of our family. Since all the family photos we have are either a year old and/or contain a Christmas tree or other merry decorations, we decided it was time to head to the studio for new photos.

So, fortunately, I had already ordered some matching outfits for the kids. It was like the inner voice knew I would need cute, summertime brother/sister outfits. Bonus: They were 40% off!! So, I only had to coordinate outfits for hubby and me to match the ever wonderful Brother and Sister. The exploration into the depths of our closet yielded fair results, so we were off to the photographer. So, after various lectures about good smiles vs bad smiles, brainstorming of happy thoughts, narratives about how the photographer is our friend, so there is not need to be shy (for sweet Sister who had decided that she is shy), we were able to capture some great shots of the kids.

While we also got some great family shots, I cannot say that I am too pleased. You see, they contain ME! I just am unable to fully appreciate any photo that contains my mug. I see all the imperfections in myself. I am reminded of the pounds that need to go away. I'm self-conscious about the hair, make-up, clothes, etc. I just don't photograph well. But, to keep it real, I will let you see one headshot:

Yeah, that's how I feel. That's who I see in my photo with my darling family. I hate picture day!