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Showing posts from August, 2011

So I've Been Nominated for (Worst) Mother of Year (more like, Millenium)

So today is Michael's birthday. And since he's such a nice (or should I say manly? I've heard men don't like to be called nice or sweet...hm?? Where's Dr Laura when I need her?) husband I thought I should go out and find him something nice (err...manly?).

So I did. And then, just to torture him I TOLD him I did.

So I headed home and stopped at a fruit stand, on the way, to pick up a snack for the kiddos.

At this point I was feeling very confident...I'd get home in plenty of to pick up the house and get ready for the kids to arrive.

So I pull up into the driveway and see that the garage door is open.

We've had our share of thievery so my heart skips a beat at the thought of all of our kids bikes being stolen.

I stop and turn the car off and happen to look in my rear view mirror.  Across the street on our Elisabeth's little pink bike is a little girl (baring a stark resemblence to Elisabeth herself).

And then I remembered.

The kids had a minimum day today…

Lessons Learned (Errrr...LearnING)

I don't know the exact date or how long we had been married. I can't even remember the person or specific circumstance...but I can tell you the exact words that I said and Michael's eye opening response to me.

It's really pretty ridiculous and I'm embarrassed to share this with you...but for the sake of authenticity...I'm going to.

A few years ago, as Michael and I were leaving some social event, I complained to him that someone (most likely female so I'll probably refer to this person as a "her" even though I don't even remember who it was) hadn't spoken to me.

Now, I'll stop right here. We had been married for a while because I'm pretty sure that all five of our kiddos were in the car...so Michael had probably heard similar nonsense from me on too many occasions to count. I'm extremely over analytical and I am constantly looking for proof that people don't like me.

Anyway, in response he says (very nonchalantly) "wel…

How to Know If you Should Skip Your Neighborhood When Trick Or Treating

I think every neighborhood has one...you know, like every family has an aunt Ruth that everyone prays will forget to make her horrible meatballs?!

Well, I hate to say it, but I guess I should just get it out of the way. In OUR neighborhood, WE'RE the ones. Not that anyone in our neighborhood has tasted my meatballs...meatballs are NOT the problem.

There are probably 7 houses on our block. All of them have their lawn mowed by this yardman (yeah, I don't think that's the technical term) in a little rickety truck. He does EVERY house on our block. Except ours. And I'm pretty sure that everyone in town knows that fact...because it's obvious.

So there's that. (And believe me, that's not the worst of it.)

And there's Elisabeth.

Do NOT believe anyone who tells you that girls are easier than boys. Elisabeth disproves that theory.

Elisabeth picks our neighbors UNripe fruit, flowers, climbs their trees and plays in their yards (uninvited and unaccompanied)and she…

From Promise to Inception

When I'm reading the Bible sometimes the timing of everything gets all jumbled in my mind. I forget that not every single event is recorded and that sometimes years and years would pass between recorded events.

Sometimes I get impatient. I want God to change me NOW. I want to walk away from whatever bad habit I'm in and never do that thing again. But I think that this is just another manifestation of God's higher thought process.

Take Abraham for example. God promised him a son, something that, based on his knowledge of the world, seemed impossible. So he waited.

(this is the part where, if this were a movie...there'd be grasshoppers chirping)

He got impatient. He got impatient and he had a son with Hagar. And was surprised when God informed him that Ishmael was not the promised son. While God was busy getting everything together and working out his plan, Abraham became so anxious for the destination that he wanted to skip the journey.

Sometimes the journey is about …

Supermom's Tool Belt

I've always been the sort of girl who runs around barefoot. I don't know, something about the power I felt when my feet hit the pavement and the freedom of grass between my toes. Yeah, I'm sure Jeff Foxworthy would call me a redneck.

Buuuuut....having kids does things to your body. And not just the outside of it.

I like spinach. SPINACH I TELL YOU. And naps. Oh naps...how I long for thee.

And in the past year, I have acquired a love, a very fervent love, for my tennis shoes. I feel powerful when I wear them...like ANYTHING is possible. It's like I've been given a compass and my very own private jet complete with pilot.


When I'm wearing tennis shoes and a pair of big, dangling earrings I can almost feel my cape blowing in the wind.

Who needs birds and mice when I've got my tennis shoes?


My Food Network Show: It's the Thought that Counts!

So, if I had a show on the Food Network...it would be titled "It's the Thought that Counts" and it would be all about how it's okay to make cakes that look like instead of cooling the cake and then frosting it, you shoved the baked cake and frosting into the blender and then formed it into a cake shape...because it's the thought that counts.


Today my sweet Lilla turned 7 years old.




I made the Raspberry-Laced Vanilla cake on the back of my cake flour box. It was sooooo yummy...but I would suggest cutting it in half...it's REALLY calorie dense. One eighteenth of the cake is 21 Weight Watchers PointsPlus...and I get 30 in a day.


Now, I am going to trust you with these pictures...because I am probably the worlds worst cake decorator. But I try...and I guess if it is really the thought that counts...then I'm okay.

Our At Home Science Experiment

So we've been looking for an extra curricular activity for Caleb. He's really struggled in school for the past couple of years and his self esteem has suffered a lot!

Michael and I are very hopeful this year though...Caleb hasn't been this excited about school since Pre-K.

At first I was going to put him into piano lessons. But in reading Courage and Calling I was made aware that that was MY regret about the past...and that it might not necessarily be right for Caleb. So I asked him what HE wants to do.

He got really excited and said he wants to do something science-y (my word, not his). So I've done research and found some really cool programs at places like the Exploratorium and The Discovery Museum.  I especially like what I found at The Discovery Museum...they have a robot building workshop...SO UP CALEB'S ALLEY! The only problem is...these places are around 90 miles away...and I really can't see us being able to drive up to Sacramento or San Fransisco very…

Five Little Elephants Shopping at Walmart

Leading 5 kids through "the Walmarts" is like leading a herd of elephants through an English Garden.

You leave a wake. :)

Not really...but I do think it should be added to the list of spiritual disciplines...you know...prayer...Bible reading...monkey herding. :)

Just kidding...I have to say it IS fun and very interesting...especially the looks on peoples faces when they say "Are those ALL yours?" and then I tell them yes! It's like they think I exceeded the number of kids that decency dictates!

And then there are the people who just send me a knowing smile...those are the best. Knowing that they know, they've been there and they are silently saying a prayer for my sanity does wonders for my soul.

I'm not gonna kid ya...there are days when I feel like I'm gonna go crazy...there's syrup on the piano, laundry piled to the ceiling, no clean dishes, underwear or patience anywhere to be had.

Those are the days I wake up thinki…

TMI?

I don't know. You tell me.

It seems like a lot of the time when you talk about having money trouble people clam up. But I'm an "out there" kind of gal.

So since my kids are in school there's been this big debate over whether or not I should get a job. Every paycheck that comes and we can't afford something I think we need, I feel this urgency to get a job.

But then, I feel like this big loser mom. The Proverbs 31 woman made money without "going to work"...is that what I'm supposed to do? If so, I'm at a complete loss. But then I see all these moms around me doing all of these great things...making beautiful bows, dresses, cakes, etc. And it's not that I'm envious...because I honestly have no desire to do those things...but my talents are in the "hey there...good job on those bows, dresses and cakes!" arena...is there a job that doesn't require a college education or virtually ANY smarts and lets you just encourage other…

He's a Rebel

So, have I mentioned that my boyfriend is a dreamboat? He's a sideburn sportin', motorcycle ridin', guitar playin' man. Only he waited until ten years into our marriage to let it out...so it's not like my parents can forbid me to see him. Smart move, I'd say.

I was kind of apprehensive about the whole motorcycle thing at first. Yeah, there's the awesome gas mileage...but there's also the fact that he is so exposed to the mistakes of other drivers. There's no air bag, that's for sure!


I have to admit that the roar of that engine is kind of thrilling, though. I mean, having a hunky husband who rides a motorcycle is every girls dream...right?


He got me on it for the second time today. There was definitely a lot less screaming this time!

The whole "lean into the turn" thing is scary and against every single fiber of my being. In my world...you lean AWAY from the falling....not toward it.

And then there's the helmet hair. And helmet f…

My Random and Shabby Attempt at Poetry

Nothing to boast of,
No thing can I tell,
no work I've accomplished
could save me from hell.

No condemnation,
how can it be?
there's no condemnation
from sin I am free!

Washed in the water
the blood is applied
Trust in my Father
steps He will guide.

I am not a poet, and I know it. But there you go!

I hope you have an awesome day!


Adventures in Walking

So I was walking along, oblivious to the world. Enjoying the evening--have I mentioned the evenings in Central California are the best evenings anywhere? Well, they are.

So I'm walking along, and a good song comes on so I get a little extra pep in my step....when out of the corner of my eye I see something running fiercely in my direction. I turn and see this (probably NOT THAT huge) GARGANCHUAN dog running at me.

Now, I'd like to stop right here to say...that I have what I consider a healthy fear of animals...you will never read about me getting choked to death by my pet boa constrictor.

Also, I have a fairly nice sized knowledge of the dog breeds and their corresponding personalities stored away...well...at least for commonly kept family dogs.

With that being said...

I'm standing there and I see this huge dog...tongue hanging out...eyes all red and drooping...very reminiscent of several sharks I've seen. All of that foreknowledge goes out the window. Th…

In the Highways and the Hedges

This evening, as I got into the van to drive myself and the kids to worship services, I was more than a little nervous.

The last time we drove the van, the dooley-dad that displays the DTE (distance to empty) read: 0.

This morning, Michael poured the remaining bit of gas, from the gas can we use for the lawnmower, into the tank and assured me that I would indeed be able to make it safely to church and home again.

Let's be real...Michael has run out of gas more times than anybody else I know. So this didn't exactly boost my confidence.

So I herded these hooligans into the van, got them all situated and turned on the van.

The DTE read...1.

So, I had to make it 12 miles round trip with the gas mileage dooley-dad telling me I could go 1. Then the thought of having to herd these wild indians down the long, winding, and dark highway after we had run out of gas crossed my mind.

But I guess I was in the mood for a miracle, because I DIDN'T do the sane thing and turn the ca…

Heavenly Treasures

For most of our married life we have struggled financially. Until about a year ago we received Food Stamps, but the government decided that Michael works too many hours and that we no longer qualify.

I’m not telling you this to make you feel sorry for me, and I hope you’ll understand that by the end of this.

I’ll tell ya. We’ve struggled. We’ve gone months without milk, we’ve eaten A LOT of Ramen noodles and A LOT of beans.

When Michael gets paid and we get our budget worked out and we realize that there isn’t enough to go around and we aren’t going to be able to buy our kids something we want to, it’s easy to get depressed and ask God where He is.

The thing is, God’s thoughts are infinitely higher than ours, and His ways are infinitely more wise than ours. He sees the big picture.

I love make-up. I would love to be able to buy high end make up. I go into Macy’s or Sephora and “ooh and ahh” over the beautiful colors and textures. At first I really wanted to buy …

Open Doors

Maybe it's because it just recently started happening again...but I LOVE having doors opened for me. Anywhere. Anytime. By anyone.

I know it's silly and inconsequential...but at the same time NOT inconsequential. The fact that another human being...who is out rushing around through their day...would see me and for even a split second consider my welfare and take measures to assist me is absolutely consequential.

It's a perfect example of love without condition. The other person doesn't know me. He doesn't know that I nag my children or yell at my husband or try to control the world.  None of those things matter. He sees that I need the door opened and opens it. I walk through. I am thankful for a person that I don't know. I don't know what he does when he's alone, with his kids or on his income taxes. It doesn't matter or even cross my mind. I only feel gratitude.

A small act of kindness. No strings. No expectations. Only gratitude.

A Heart's Desire

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis.

Don't worry...I'm not going to disappear to go looking for myself.

All of my kids are in school and I'm faced with trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. Yeah I know, I'm still a mom...and that is primarily what I'm supposed to be doing. But part of my job as a mom is giving my children wings, giving them opportunities to discover who God made them to be and where they fit in God's plan...teaching them to soar on the wings of eagles. And teaching is best done by example, right?


I'll tell ya, I have had a hard time thinking of something I'm good at. I've taken personality tests, read books and talked Michael's ear off.

I think that the hardest part has just been realizing that I'm not a mistake...that I'm not God's accident...that I'm not too damaged and sinful to be useful to God...that while I am still sinful, Christ died for me...and that He has set me apart for good…

A New Season

If you read blogs to learn something...this probably isn't the one for you.
If you read blogs to find fun craft ideas and new recipes...this probably isn't the one for you.
If you read blogs to benefit from the wisdom of others...this probably isn't the one for you.

If you read blogs to feel better about yourself and how tidy your house is and how well behaved your kids are and pretty much any other area of you life...BOY IS THIS THE ONE FOR YOU!

I don't really know anything worth sharing...except that Jesus loves you (and ME!:).

And even THAT you can learn from a children's song.

So I'm just gonna write. It may or may not be worth reading. I don't know. But I'm going to write. Without strings, hoops or expectations...I'm just going to put good vibes on the internet...and even if all it is is good vibes and God is glorified...I'll be happy with that.