Monday, February 23, 2009

If they REALLY knew me ...

Pin It I was thinking today as I was doing my Bible study about the amazing fact that God knows every single thing about me and loves me anyway. Not "I'm gonna fix her up and then I'll love her" but "I love her just as she is." This is mind boggling to me.

I started thinking along these lines when I mentioned in Sunday School one day that there was one person that I'd argued with as an adult. (Nope, husbands don't count. ;) ) There seemed to be some shock in the room that I would have actually had an argument with someone. Really? That surprised me! I was actually thinking, Well! I had no idea I had hidden that part of me so well! I was actually happy about that.

Do y'all ever feel like if people REALLY knew you they'd run as fast as they could, the other way? I mean the deep down hidden stuff - not the "I let my son pee in a cup" and "one time I forgot to brush my teeth" type stuff, but the true darkness that lies within. The motivations, the ugliness, those hidden thoughts ... y'all know what I mean. I was actually thinking that if I stripped off the various masks and was really truly the deep down REAL me, it might be a person that not even my mother could love!

I think I read somewhere that one of the greatest needs in humanity was to feel loved. That makes sense, but what about feeling lovable? This is what has my mind boggled right now. Not just that God loves me (which is pretty mind-boggling in and of itself) but that He sees me as lovable! When I don't see much lovable about me, and I start to fear that if you REALLY knew me, you wouldn't see anything either, it is a comfort to know that God DOES really REALLY know me and finds me lovable.

Bless the Lord
Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His Holy Name

An award?? For me?

Pin It

Aw, thank you so much MamaJ! This made my day! (And what a day it's been ... yikes!)

Passing it along to three people ... I love all of my blogging buddies but I'm going to try to pick people I haven't tagged before. :)

First of all to a mama I'm just really getting to know this year, Grateful Wife. Isn't it amazing when you get the opportunity to get to know someone better than you've known a little for a while? And then find that you have more in common with that person than you originally thought? And then find a new friend? That's what this mama has been to me this year. :) I'm happy for this photography-learning journey that we both happen to be on and I'm thankful to have this opportunity to get to know you better. :)

Next to my friend Val, who really needs to update her blog more frequently. LOL I just want to make sure everyone who reads my blog clicks over to hers and watches the "Cardboard Testimonies" video she has posted. How awesome!!

And lastly, to my favorite zookeeper. Her blog keeps me giggling ... especially since I know her little zoo. She has the most adorable little animals at her zoo~!! LOL

Thanks again, MamaJ!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Y'all Bear With Me

Pin It There has been too much stuff going on around here this week! I'm behind on everything. And by everything, I mean laundry, dishes, schoolwork, blogging ... Topping that off, we got a new computer and I seem to be a little challenged in using it. It's up and running, so that's good, but my bookmarks are all on the old computer. I'm trying to get them moved to delicious so I can get them over here, but that's seeming to be a little more work than I had intended it to be. I'm kind of wondering if it would be easier to write out every bookmark, come over here, and retype it and rebookmark it. (Remember ... I think that as a person approaches 40, technological skills are pretty much gone. I'm still surprised I was able to figure out how to turn this computer on!)

Anyway ... I'll catch up soon ... maybe ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday, #2

Pin It This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and for a chance to win $100.

Short and sweet because I. AM. EXHAUSTED.

Hi for the week:
Jim's mom coming in and the PURE JOY the kids have had visiting with her. They were counting down the minutes waiting for her to get here and were so excited. They have had a ball visiting and being spoiled. For an extra special day, Mom and John came in and joined us for lunch on Wednesday. We've had a fun week around here. :)

Lo for the week:
We went to Galveston today. I've seen it twice now and still just can't get over the disaster zone that is the Bolivar Peninsula. Five months post-Ike and Galveston looks pretty good. The Bolivar area does not. It is just nearly unfathomable.

I think I'll have a post with more substance tomorrow. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Can you relate to any of these?

Pin It Click here.

I am laughing so hard I'm crying. Yep, this is parenthood.

Mine to add, just from tonight.

1 three year old boy + 3.7 seconds = one trashed house. SIGH.

1 three year old boy + 3 valentine candy bags = sisters screaming, an avalanche of candy wrappers, and a sticky boy.

3 children + 1 grandmother = a LOT of noise as everyone has to show off either their toys, or their dancing ability, or their singing ability. Add folded laundry to the mix and you have a VERY angry mother and clothes scattered all over the floor.

One Monday + trying to get everything done + forgetting a bunch of things and having to do them twice + dance classes + a mountain of laundry + trying to get some exercise + the mere thought of all that has to be done tomorrow = one overwhelmed mommy who really needs to go to bed.

Not Me Monday

Pin It Yep, it's that time again. Good thing I didn't do anything embarrassing this week, this oughta be a short post.



Let's start by picking on the kids.

One of my children did not this week tell me that she was going to sit in the same spot until she died. This was not brought about by a math battle, in which I did not tell her that she was not to move from that spot until her math was completed. This did not result in a battle of wills that lasted about FOUR HOURS. I did not at that time realize that I might have met my match in hard-headedness. (And for those of you who think I'm not hard-headed or stubborn ... yeah, just keeping that. I'm really not hard-headed or stubborn at all, not by any stretch of the imagination. Neither is my sweet daughter.)

We have not decided with another daughter that spelling should always be done on the trampoline. Picture this: me calling out a spelling word and her spelling it while bouncing. Cute pic, huh? Doesn't happen around here. We're way more traditional with our schooling than that.

I did not this week, in a fit of decluttering, throw away way too much stuff. Stuff that I picked out for my children, and bought. It would be wasteful to just throw away perfectly good stuff! And if we don't need it surely someone else does, right? It would just be wrong to throw it away. Especially since stuff for Goodwill and to pass along to friends doesn't just pile up while I do things like write blog posts rather than taking it on. We always get it out of here right away, so there would be no need to just throw things away to get rid of it quickly.

Said throwing things away certainly did not happen in a 30 minute time span while the hubs took the kids to the grocery store with him. There was not a mad cleaning tornado in this house at all!

Said cleaning tornado did not show up because my MIL is coming in this week and I want to give her the impression that we keep the house neat and tidy all the time. No need for that to be an impression I want to give, it really is how we live. Always. I'd never find enough socks to outfit an entire baseball team in the toy bins. Nope, not me.

One more ... okay, the poor dog was "fixed" this week. Bless her heart, she had no idea she was broken and had no idea what hit her. I mentioned to Jim that we were removing some of her "princess parts." He got really tickled by that euphemism. I did not repeat that over and over because he got tickled with it every time. I'm a serious person, I don't play and tease like that.

Okay ... please y'all don't just laugh at me, make your own list so I can see that y'all aren't perfect too! I'd love to read what you didn't do this week.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

You are hereby notified

Pin It We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging to inform you that Valentine's Day has been rescheduled. It is being postponed until Tuesday due to events beyond my control.

The GOOD things about celebrating Valentine's Day three days late:
1) No lines at restaurants, no need to even make a reservation.
2) Not a bunch of kids at the movie.
3) Free babysitting, my mother in law will be here.
4) No real schedule to follow, we really can stay out as late as we want. This would probably be more of a good thing if we had any real interest in staying out late. LOL
5) If gifts hadn't already been bought, they could be bought really really cheaply after the big day.

Soooo ... date night for Valentine's Day ... TUESDAY!

We return you to your regular blogging, already in progress.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hi/Lo Thursday

Pin It This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and for a chance to win $100.

Okay, I'm really enjoying following this blog. I'm feeling challenged in some areas and I'm just enjoying reading it. I've been following it for a few weeks now and I'm starting to feel like I know the authors, and especially little Miss Abby. Please keep her in your prayers, she's really needing them right now.

Hi/Lo Thursday ...

My HI for the week ... other than the scale yesterday. ahem.

I'd have to say the highs for the week all revolved around Gabbi and friendships. A friendship restored, a friendship revisited, and my daughter being blessed by both of these friendships.

Another high for the week hasn't actually happened yet. I'm about to tell Brendan that he gets to play with "Dean" today. He is going to be so excited!!

My LO for the week ...

Long division. 'Nuff said.

I'm looking at the bright side here and thinking if long division really has been our low point for the week, it's been a pretty blessed week! Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Got Geography Issues

Pin It (and evidently grammar issues as well with a title like that!)

Have you tried this? Silly me, seeing this on a blog and thinking it would be easy. After all, I AM a homeschool mom. Plus, I'm reasonably well traveled in the United States.

ahem.

My average error is 50 miles. Not bad ... until you consider that I got 41 states right. So, of the 9 that I missed, to make the AVERAGE error 50 miles, well, I missed those 9 by A LOT. I'm pretty good on the edges. It's those middle states that I have a hard time with. I actually told my child, as she was studying geography, that one of the states she was looking for was somewhere in the middle. That was because I wanted her to find it herself, not because "somewhere in the middle" was as close as I could get. Riiiiiight.

So, if you're going somewhere in the middle, or somewhere in the northeast, and need directions, I'm probably not the person you should call. Mapquest is your friend. And mine.

No real point to this post other than to share my "I feel stupid" moment of the day. And to steal Shannon's post a little ... although hers is WAY better written.

So how did YOU do?
My first score was 82%, average error 50 miles, time 288 seconds ... about 200 of which was spent asking Gabbi where certain states were supposed to go.

(Yes, in case you're wondering, this is my third post in about 24 hours. Evidently this is how I operate. Post post post post post and then take the rest of the week off.)

Contentment and Camera Lenses

Pin It I know you are all waiting with bated breath. The camera lens!! Did she buy it or did she not?

Well, the suspense ends here, friends.

On Friday, I spent some time perusing Amazon. (Really, there would be much more money around here if Amazon happened to be blocked from my computer!) The lens has been in my cart for a while now - that's what I do. I spend time on Amazon and fill up my cart so I have this wish list floating around for a while.

(Note - if you're ever tempted to do this -- learn from me -- DO NOT USE ONE CLICK SHOPPING!! Not only will you buy what you intended to buy, you will also buy whatever else is in your cart. If you do not pay attention to your cart or emails from amazon, things you didn't REALLY intend to buy yet will show up on your doorstep, and charges for these things will show up in your bank statement. This, of course, has NEVER happened to me .... oh yeah, it's not "not me Monday" ... )

Okay, so there were a couple of things that I needed from Amazon on Friday, so I was legitimately shopping. And the lens was already in my cart. I looked at it ... went back and forth ... and left it in there and hit check out. Got all the way to the last step and decided to look at it again to compare it to the lenses I already have. It really is the exact same as one lens I have, with the exception of the image stabilizer. Same speed, same zoom, same everything except for that one little thing. So then the whole thing started over again ... yes or no ... it's not a cheap lens but it's not all that expensive either. I love the IS on my real zoom lens ... but my real zoom lens is sufficient for most of the pics I'd want to take that NEED IS.

So I walked away and left my cart open.

But then I realized that I needed the OTHER things in my cart. (Okay, well, NEED might be a bit of a stretch for a couple of the items in there ...)

A novel idea ...

I prayed for direction. Should I be happy with what I have, or is this a justifiable splurge?

Ultimately, I decided to be content with what I have. There is *nothing* wrong with it.

All this is not to say that it would have been wrong to buy the lens. It my situation, I think it would have been wrong to buy it now because with all the hemming and hawing, I believe I was being directed to not buy it now. I don't know if the answer is wait or no, but it doesn't matter right now. I think for right now, I'm supposed to want what I have.

So, that's the story of the lens. :) I don't think most areas of contentment struggles will be as easy as this one (although this wasn't exactly easy) but maybe the Lord is working gently with me on the smaller things before tackling the bigger things!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Me Monday

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Yep, it's Monday again, and writing this should be very easy because I didn't do a darn thing this week.

Here is just a small sample of the things I didn't do this week.

I didn't sit my children, especially the youngest, in front of the TV for way too long this week. I didn't at any time encourage them to watch anything they wanted, as long as they were quiet. I love listening to my children's sweet voices, so I wouldn't beg and plead and give into to too much TV just for some quiet. Plus those TV children have voices that are way more annoying than my own children, so I'd never do that. Except that those TV children have this handy dandy remote control to reign in the volume of their little voices. I can't seem to find one of those remote controls that work on my children.

And speaking of children and voices, I did not YELL at my children to tell them to quit yelling at each other this week. How much sense would that make? My children don't yell at each other anyway. They're sweet little angels who always get along perfectly.

We hit a difficult subject at school this week. It's really the first "hard" thing we've come across in a while, which is a blessing. The problem is, my mind works so that I can easily understand things like we came across this week. My child's does not. I suspect that this area is just not her gift. In trying to work this out, I did not essentially give up and just walk away for the day. I know it's better to tackle stuff head on, so I wouldn't just decide that I'd rather put it away for another day! The other child did not decide that she had hit a wall as well, and decide that she needed to be able to just take a day off too. I didn't take this idea and run with it and spend the afternoon relaxing either!

and one more ...

I did not sit in a Weight Loss Class yesterday at church, bow my head for our closing prayer, and realize that I had chocolate down the front of my shirt. Oh my, how embarrassing would that be! I'm so glad that didn't happen to me!

How about yours? What did you not do this week?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Contentment, part 2

Pin It That word KEEPS popping up! It's almost like the Lord is trying to teach me, or something like that!

My question for the day ... okay, I can see that contentment is a learned quality. How exactly does one go about learning it? Is it similar to patience, in which everything suddenly becomes chaotic without forseeable means of change, so that patience is the only choice available? This would be why we're always told to never pray for patience.

I suspect that contentment falls along those same lines. Maybe it's kind of like the things we typically rest in are shaken up, and see that God is faithful still, then we can learn to be content in other areas. I really don't know. He's not giving me the entire "this is how you're going to learn to be content in all circumstances" plan. I do believe He has told me where to begin, though.

I'm really fond of baby steps. I believe that step #1 for me is to just recognize discontentment in myself. I'm a big complainer, I think even those who read this who do not know me personally have realized that. So that's step #1 for me. Recognizing when I complain -- even passive aggressively, even internally, and making it stop. (And WHOA ... that is SOOOOO not a baby step! More like a giant leap - remember playing "Mother May I" and it was time for a giant leap and every single ounce of strength in you leaped as far as possible? This is what trying to not complain is going to be like for me.)

I think complaining is so ingrained in me that it's highly likely that I complain without even realizing it. Help me out here, friends. Kindly point out when I start complaining. (I know this is going to be a huge challenge for at least one of you, because a significant portion of my complaints get dumped on you ... love you girl ... use your honesty with me, seriously! You know who you are!)

I really really do want to learn to be content. I know it's a process, and I know the Lord wants me to defeat this sin in my life as well.

(random thought that just went through my mind ... does being content with what I have mean that I need to take that new camera lens out of my cart at amazon? I have no idea. Really, I don't. Anyway ... )

Step #1 ... recognize complaining quickly, and stop it.

Phil 2:14-15
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.