Friday, January 30, 2009

Contentment

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Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version)

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


The Lord is working on me. I've been trying to think of serious goals I have for 2009. More than the typical "I want to lose weight" (not that losing weight is not a worthy pursuit - that's on my list too.) I'm thinking about deeper things though - character traits I'd like for the Lord to build in me; trying to take something that really is just plain foreign to me and making it an integral part of me. I have two qualities that I know He is leading me to work on this year. One is contentment, the other is friendliness and hospitality. Neither is in my natural makeup. I'll share my friendliness and hospitality struggles in another post, this one is about contentment.

I was talking with a few sweet mamas at choir last night. I left the room to see what Brendan was doing and came back and they were talking about contentment in the season of life in which they find themselves. Funny, I had been thinking about contentment anyway. I know the passage I quoted about well, but one word in it has never really jumped out at me before.

Paul said "I have LEARNED to be content ..."

Did you catch that? Paul had to LEARN how to do it. I'm guessing that means I can extend myself some grace because contentment CLEARLY does not come natural to me. I'm going to have to LEARN how to do it too. And that is OKAY. If Paul had to learn it, then the Lord can teach it to me as well.

I am, by nature, not a content person. I have one thing and it's great, but what I really want is another thing. Or I can be perfectly content in one area, but the discontent in other areas spills over and suddenly I'm unhappy in the areas where previously I was just fine. And this is not only in the area of material things, actually not even mainly in the area of material things. It's more in the area of being content in my stage of life, with the wife I am, with the mom I am, in the struggles I have with life.

Honestly, I'm not even sure what contentment really looks like. As some of you know, I've had some information given to me this week that caused an immediate panic. I'm feeling some peace with that right now, but definitely not contentment. This will cause some changes in my life that I don't want to make. So, I've been struggling with how to be content in this situation. It's going to be HARD, really really hard to deal with this situation. What does contentment look like here? Is it not accepting that this will be hard? Or not being nervous about whether I can do it? Or not being mad and thinking "this is NOT what I signed up for!" I don't know. I know it has something to do with trusting that His grace really is sufficient for me, and trusting that He called me to this point, and that He will provide for me while I'm there.

Okay, I'm getting rambly now. I just wanted to share some of my heart with you guys, and maybe write a post that wasn't just silly fluff. Y'all can pray for me, as a matter of fact, I'd really appreciate it if you did. Not only for this specific situation, but just as I learn to be content in general. Even in the very small areas, it will be a struggle for me because discontentment is so much a part of me, and I don't want it to be anymore!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Four Times the Photo Fun

Pin It (aside ... I'm having a post fest the past couple of days, apparently! I think this is #4! What can I say, it's a beautiful day, one child is outside, and two are asleep, so it's quiet in here!)

Meri tagged me with a fun little photo challenge!

Ok, here goes:

1. Go to the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in that folder.

3. Explain the photo.

4. Link to the person who sent you the Tag and then Tag 4 friends to share the fun!


Aww!! I uploaded the pic without looking at it first; I knew that was safe since folder #4 was labeled "calendar pics". This is Brendan, about 18 mo old. He was about to lay on the cat. I think the cat is suspecting what is up and she's giving him "the eye." Aww, Brendan was so sweet!

Okay ... I'm tagging ...
Micah at Finding Shae
Jessica at Journey with Jessica
Tammy at Tammy's Travels
April at The Quakes in my Quiver

"Laughter Lives" Tuesday

Pin It Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.

Not sure if this is going to be a weekly tradition or what, but in my morning blog-hopping, I came across this and since I have a sweet, funny, story to share, I'm joining in today.

Brendan is learning a lot these days. He knows what love is, but he hasn't figured out that he can love more than one person at a time. Typically, he'll come up to me and say "I love mommy!" and one of the girls will ask if he loves them, and he'll say no. Or, if he's in trouble ... for something like pulling all of his sheets off the bed or all of the pillows off the couch ... Gabbi will usually come to his rescue. He will walk up to me all huffy and tell me "I love Gabbi!" Which, of course, if you can only love one person at a time, means I'm off the love list.

Oh - I have one more funny Brendan story too! He's learning how to pray before we eat. He's had the "AMEN" down for a while, but now he's really wanting to pray. Have you ever listened to a three year old pray? It's hilarious. We have prayed for Blue's Clues, Lightening McQueen, BuzzManIComeInPeace, and blankets. The most frequent thing on his list ... like on his daily list ... is "Dean's House." Not Dean, or his family, or that he would get to play with Dean, but Dean's house. (So Micah, your house is good and prayed up! LOL) Actually I think he's actually praying that he'll get to GO to Dean's house, but it's quite cute. He throws in "Dean's House!" if someone else is praying too. So sweet!!

Anyone else have some "Laughter Lives Tuesday" stories? I want to giggle today!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Jan 18 - Jan 26

Pin It Daddy and Brendan


We loved going to see Stellaluna!


Hard at work kid!


He was taking a pic of me while I was taking a pic of him.


The great flu epidemic of 2009.


Brendan loves rhythm boxing too.


The flu, day 47. This picture may need to be pulled when she's feeling well enough to realize that it's out there.

Another Not Me

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Head on over to mckmama's blog to find out more about "Not Me Monday" and read what everyone else has NOT been doing this week!

I did not take my daughter's cup, filled with Sonic ice (which we all know is the best ice in the world!) and make her pour it into her sister's cup, so that my son could become a member of the cup club. That would be the PEEING in a cup club. This did not happen while spending way too long in the line at the bank, which was not caused by me waiting until the last minute to make a deposit. I did not realize that it was the last minute and deny my son the opportunity to go potty before we left, so that he was in a state of urinary emergency while we waited way too long in line. He did not take GREAT delight in peeing in a cup, and I am not now thinking that I should feel any random cup around the house for warmness before drinking ... just in case. I am so glad this didn't happen. Especially because if it really had happened, I'd be really embarrassed right about now. Plus warm sonic cups filled with pee are just plain gross. Or I think they are ... I really wouldn't know, because this did not happen to me! And if someone who was also in line at Wachovia tells you differently, I'm sure they're lying, because I would NEVER do that.

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I did not let my dog run out of food. And if I HAD let my dog run out of food, I would not have had to go to the grocery store in 33 degree weather. And if I HAD to go to the grocery store for dog food in 33 degree weather, I would not have dragged my kids out of bed. And if I HAD dragged my kids out of bed to go to the grocery store in 33 degree weather because we needed dog food, I would not have bribed them with doughnuts to motivate them.

(I'm starting to get a "If You Give a Mouse a Muffin" vibe going on here!)

If I HAD done all of that stuff, I certainly would not have sat in the car in my drive way and wondered if, in all of the rushing around, I had brushed my teeth. I would not have realized that I had not, and I certainly would not have gone on to the grocery store anyway. I'm a little OCD about toothbrushing, so I would never have done that.

btw ... if you happened to see someone at the grocery store who looked like me, with my children, and that person avoided you like the plague so that you wouldn't know she hadn't brushed her teeth that morning, well, it WASN'T ME! I send my children out with random people who look like me in 33 degree weather to buy doughnuts and dog food all the time.

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I did not tell friends ON TUESDAY that my child had not been sick in four years. I also did not tell these same friends that this same child had never had the flu. That would just be borrowing trouble!

This same child did not start running fever ON WEDNESDAY. This same child was NOT diagnosed with THE FLU on Friday. That would just be ironic, wouldn't it?

This same child is not STILL running fever and feeling awful on Monday. :(

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I am an accountant, and I'd guess that I have easily done 10,000 tax returns in my life. Doing math in my head and making spreadsheets ... well, I got some mad skillz.

With that said, I did not, last December do a quick estimate of my personal tax return. I did not come to the conclusion that we were going to owe $2,000 - $3,000, and quickly close the spreadsheet to just kind of choose to be in denial about it for a few more months. I did not just last week just kind of glance at it again and realize that my calculations were not only wrong, they were WAY wrong. I ALWAYS double check my math, that's like what they teach us THE FIRST DAY and EVERY DAY afterwards in accounting classes! I did not then realize that we were back in refund-land, do a happy dance, and scramble to get everything together to get that baby filed. I also did not get it all done only to realize that ... ONCE AGAIN ... I am locked out of my mortgage account online, so I can't get my interest and property tax numbers until either they find a way to unlock me (which hasn't worked so well the past couple of months) or I get the 1098 in the mail.

I am not currently stalking the mailman. ;)

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This has been a doozy of a week around here, with sick kids and Jim out of town and all! It was such a relief to hear him drive up yesterday. I did not at that point FLING children on him and sit in a quiet house. LOL Actually I really didn't; G refused to leave with him, bless her sick little heart. LOL I would have shipped them all off if I could have though! I'm glad I didn't immediately shove them all into his care though. That would have been a little mean, after his long weekend out of town. I'm glad I gave him plenty of time to rest and relax before tossing kids at him, because I'm sure he needed a break.

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And speaking of my darling children, they did not make up a song about me hula-hooping to Wii Fit. Oh my, I would have throttled them if they had done that! Well, if I could have. Hula-hooping WIPES. ME. OUT. And by the way ... this song they didn't make up ... they were not threatened unspeakable horrors if it were to EVER be mentioned in public or to anyone to whom I didn't give birth. SO ... if you should ASK THEM about it ... well ... their fate ... remember the unspeakable horrors? well, that would be in YOUR HANDS. I'm sure none of you would want that on your conscience.

Okay, that's it for me this week. What did YOU not do? C'mon, join in! It's fun! (and if you do, let me know in comments so I can run over and think "well, at least I didn't do THAT! LOL)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where is that darn manual? - Updated

Pin It Annnnnndddd, another update ... she DID wake up completely miserable today, with a higher fever. I'm guessing we're dr bound. She actually still says she's feeling okay, but she looks and sounds like that might not be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Update: This is truly bizarre to me. She is still running fever. She has a cough and has complained of a headache off and on, but that's it. Other than that, she's feeling fine. Her temp didn't get over 101 yesterday; actually the highest was 100.8. Just weird. I'm calling it a virus and letting her ride it out unless she happens to wake up completely miserable today.


You know, that manual that kids are supposed to come with. EVERYTHING comes with a manual! The DISHES I recently bought came with a manual. And oh my heavens, everything that plugs into a wall comes with a manual.

I really need a manual for my child right about now.

See, she's sick.

I'm doing that mommy dance of "take her in or let her ride it out." She's running fever, let's all lean to the "take her in" side. It's not a high fever though, and she usually does, or did, I guess, run high fevers. Lean back to the "ride it out" side. She's coughing and has a headache ... back to the "take her in side." She's not really acting all that sick though ... lean the other way. It's Thursday though, so if it becomes a bigger deal, it would be good to know that before the weekend, and also to prepare for the other kids to start dropping like flies. Okay, back to the other side.

Anyone else getting dizzy?

This child is 10 years old, you'd think I'd know what to do by now! She hasn't been sick ... AT ALL ... since having her tonsils out in 2005 or 2006 (I've been racking my brain trying to remember if I was pregnant with Brendan or if he was a baby when that happened!)

What to do ... what to do ...

What would YOU do?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Monday, Not Me!!

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Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.



I took the week off last week, so I have several for this week. Not that I've been keeping track or anything like that.

To start with, I am not a sheet snob. The sheets I really like for my bed do not come with financing options. I am not so "the princess and the pea-ish" that sheets that aren't just right are hard for me to sleep on. That would just be snobbish and silly. I do not currently just have two sets of sheets because of this issue. And not only that, I did not only have one set from the time we got this bed until the day after Thanksgiving, because Kohl's put the sheets I like on sale.

To make this pathetic and borderline hypocrisy, I would never insist on really expensive sheets for myself but buy whatever is cheap for my children. I did not buy complete bedding sets for my girls that together cost less than just sheets for me cost. I care more for their comfort than to buy them cheap sheets. (They do look nice though!)

To make this even more pathetic and a blatant show of favoritism, the little one does not get to also have nice sheets, by virtue of having our old bed passed down to him, along with the really nice sheets that go with it.

So ... let's recap:
I am not a sheet snob.
I do not buy cheap sheets for my children.
Brendan is not a sheet snob in training.

Oh, and don't get me started on pillows.

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I did not slip into my girls' bedroom and HIDE an AWANA book. None of my children accused me of this either. Let me just say ... I would NOT go into their room. I would not because I COULD NOT. Even if I wanted to. My girls are not little slobs in cute packages. They keep their room nice and neat, with everything in its place. We do not have frequent battles over finding things like shoes or hairbrushes. I have never, not even once, been moved to tears at the sight of their closet. I do not think it reflects badly on ME that you kind of have to JUMP from the door onto the bed to avoid stepping all over their stuff, conveniently laid out on the floor. I have never threatened, screamed, taken things away, had a temper tantrum, or banged my head against the wall due to the condition of this bedroom.

For what it's worth, my own bedroom is never a mess. I never lose shoes or hairbrushes. Or AWANA books.

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I am not humming the Wonder Pets song as I type this. And you're not either now. :-P

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And speaking of Wonder Pets, I have not used Noggin as a babysitter for the little one way too much lately. And since I haven't done that, there is no need for me to pull out the "but it's like preschool on TV!" card. Nor is it necessary to point out how cute it would be for him to scream out "A CLUE, A CLUE!" because we DON'T watch too much TV, so how would I know how cute it is?

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I did not take a pic with my phone last night to squeeze a pic in for Project 300-something. I have a really nice camera with cool lenses, plus a point and shoot, so there's no reason for me to be so lazy as to snap a random pic with my phone just so I'd have something to put 1/18 on. And I didn't skip 1/16 and 1/17. There is NO HINT of laziness here. Not even a teeny little bit. I mean, it's taking a picture, for heaven's sake. No real effort required!!

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And finally, I did not take great delight in reaching the 10 hour mark on wii fit. There was absolutely not a bit of boasting or bragging when my little bank turned a different color than everyone else's. I do not suspect that the wii that I SAID I bought "for the children" has been used more by me than them. And I did not once physically remove a child from in front of the TV because it was mommy's turn. Not even once.

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Now I'm not sitting here, almost time to go to co-op, half dressed with wet fluffy hair. And I'm not going to have to rush to get there in time. And I did not leave my stuff there last night so I'm walking in unprepared.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jan 10 - 16

Pin It Remember!! I never said they'd be GOOD pictures! LOL

Madelyn at a birthday party. Evidently she's sad about something or other. Maybe she's pondering the amount of icing on that cookie! Yikes!


It was a very happy day at our house when we got a new bed. The girls both got new bedding and are so excited to not share a bed any longer. A funny story - G spent the night with a friend the first night with the new beds, and M just couldn't stand it so she went and slept in her old bed ... which is now her brother's bed. If she knows you're taking a pic of her, she HAS to pose.


One of the highlights of B's co-op day is taking the trash out when it's over. He just loves it and oh my, trouble is to be had if I take the trash out without him!


I just thought this was a cute pic, so 1/12 gets a bonus pic. These are the new "BuzzManIComeInPeace" jammies. Yes, that is all one word.


Woohoo, go me!! Although, I have to state that I'm not quite sure what a 106% burn rate is. Anyone know? It has to be a good thing, right? This was after a 20 minute jog, so I was very excited! (Well, I was just excited to do a 20 minute jog without DYING.)


At MOPS on Wednesday we decorated pillowcases for kids in crisis situations.


On Thursday we took a field trip to Moody Gardens in Galveston. G loved this pic of her, and so did I!


And on 1/16, I rested. Oops.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

THAT'S THE FACE!!

Pin It Totally random post and there will be some more Project 300-something pictures to follow later, BUT~!!

We were in Target the other day looking at Wii games. Brendan saw a Kung Fu Panda game (which he calls Kung Pu Fanda, and I laugh every time!) and he screwed up his face to make this cute Kung Fu face. He was copying the panda and it was SO cute. Anyway ... he made this face like 12 times right then and I was so mad because I didn't have my camera with me. If you know me well, I pretty much ALWAYS have a camera with me, and my dear son is making this adorable face ... and no camera. Not even my phone.

So I've been on a mission ever since then to get this Kung Pu Fanda face recorded on film. Is my sweet three year old working with me on this? NO! The kung pu fanda face generally requires kung pu moves and lots of them. So, I have about 75 pics of an *almost* kung pu fanda face and about 75 pics of a blurry child moving right at the last moment and no kung pu fanda faces.

And then.

I log on to my own blog to check out all of your blogs and happen to notice the rifle pic. IT'S THE FACE!! You can only see part of it, so you don't get the full kung pu fanda effect, but it's the same face! LOL

Okay, well, it amused me this morning. Some days it doesn't take much.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jan 9 ... it's all about Brendan (and a little bit about Landon too)

Pin It Pizza making boys:



I love the expression on his face in this one. I'm sure he wasn't shooting his best buddy or anything like that:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jan 7 - 8 ... it's all about ME

Pin It New Year's Resolutions in action.

Wii Fit Hula Hooping ... LOL ... you didn't think you would get a pic of me actually hula-hooping, did you? There are things that should just stay inside the immediate family. This is definitely one of them.

I was THRILLED with the total number of spins though! This was in ten minutes. Think I'll be able to work up to 4000?


And, my lunch today, which probably looks a little healthier than it actually was. Let's see ... lettuce, tomatoes, purple onion, green onion, red bell pepper, black beans, corn, avocado, feta cheese ... yum yum!! (Although I have to admit ... part of my delight in this veggie yummy-ness was diminished when SOMEONE made a comment about my HUGE salad. sigh ...)


I can tell, I'm rapidly going to run out of things to take pics of. I mean ... it's 1/8 and I'm taking pics of the TV screen and my lunch?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Through Jan 6

Pin It I had some pics I had forgotten I had taken, so maybe I'm not as much a slacker as I had thought! Here are some from Jan 1 - Jan 6. Please note, I didn't say these would all be GOOD pics!

First we have the HUMONGOUS lazy dog chewing her lovey. That little puppy from a few months ago? Um, she grew. A lot.


Super boy!! Didn't have the lens in from the running pics, so the action shots of him flying out were blurry and bad. Like his cape?


Practicing her tea party skills. She's thinking of having a tea party for her birthday and decided that we must practice first. Note the sundress that belongs to her older sister.


A fresh clean boy in a box.


Working hard or hardly working? Well, she's playing with her camera, and if there are camera classes around here, they would be MINE, not hers!


There's another post below that I did today too. It actually has GOOD pics in it. LOL

Some Cute Pics to Share

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These were taken the day after Christmas, so not technically part of "Project 300-something" but I still wanted to share them. I was playing with one of my new lenses. Brendan was probably 50 feet away from me and I was just holding the camera, no tripod or anything. He's running with all of his three year old speed. These are completely unedited, just shrunk.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Project 365 360 300-something

Pin It I'm not sure if it's that I'm setting terribly low standards for myself, or extending myself grace in advance or what. I want to do the Project 365 thing. It's where you commit to taking at least one photo every day of the year. Here's the thing though. I missed days 1 - 4. And I'm pretty certain I'll miss a few more days during the year. I think Project 300-something is a worthy goal for a slacker such as me. I'm reasonably certain that I won't post aaalllllllllllllll of these pics, but I'll post a fair amount. Maybe I'll even learn to use my camera in the process.

Today's pics are taken ... and still in the camera. Because it's a new year and it takes a whole two seconds of effort to create a new folder, and apparently that's too much for me today. LOL Maybe I'll come back and edit to add them. Or maybe I'll just post a few days at once.

You know the really bad thing about setting low standards for myself? The pics I took today ... are they day 1 or day 5?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not Me Monday

Pin It Let's jump right in, shall we?



I have not been glaring at this date (1/5) on my calendar for the last week, knowing it meant time for school to start back up. I have not enjoyed the school break so much that I am just dreading getting back. I have not actually tried to come up with a way to take another week off. Who cares if they graduate from high school when friends their age are graduating from college, right?

And speaking of school, I am not WAY too uptight about our homeschool, or our satellite either. I don't have lists all over my desk of plans and times and other stuff dealing with school, and I don't have a note I made to myself back in June about how I was going to relax this year and let the kids learn without mama bear hovering over the top of them, and about how character was more important than academics. To that end, I do not spend way too much time drilling multiplication and division facts, and not nearly enough time working on AWANA stuff and character training. This is actually a serious thing -- I need to come up with a way to balance the two. I don't want to be the roaring lion, get in there and do your work! type mom, nor do I want to be the oh it's okay, you'll learn that when you're ready type mom. I want what's best for my children, even if that's different from what I think is best. It's a tough balance.

Okay, well, I did not just take my light hearted not me list and stick something serious in there. I'd never do that, I'd much rather joke and play around than do anything serious!

I have loads of not me's regarding the dog. I am not currently regretting the decision to keep the dog. As far as dogs go, I like this one best, but in all honesty, that's not saying a whole lot. One night this week, I did not slam the bathroom door in anger because the dog insisted on scratching her nails on the bottom of her crate. I am not the lightest sleeper in the world, so of course it didn't wake me up when she did it 56789745648784 times. And I did not decide that I had had enough and try to think of a way I could toss her off of a bridge. I didn't just give up and put her out for the night ... loudly ... either. I don't really think that if something wakes ME up, I should have every right to wake my husband up. Okay, maybe I do. ;)

Okay ... all that said ... it's now time to start the day. Except I'm the only one awake. It's nice to start the day in quiet, so I'm going to go enjoy it for a few minutes until the little one wakes up to snuggle me.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

At War With Myself

Pin It It's January 1st, time for all of the same ole' resolutions to be renewed.

To that end, I am ridding my house of all junk food, sweets, and anything else that approaches yumminess.

My frugalness will not allow me to throw this stuff out though.

ahem.

I think we all know what the solution to this problem is.

Maybe we'll start those resolutions tomorrow. It's not considered actually BREAKING them if it's a holiday, right? RIGHT??

I knew you'd agree with me.

and btw ... I know I still have my Christmas siggy up. Blogger keeps giving me an error message when I go to change it.