Friday, October 30, 2009

Just So We're Consistent

Pin It Halloween.

And the dilemma starts for every Christian who does not have this issue nailed down. Christians like me.

On the one hand, no, I don't want my children participating in pagan ceremonies and rituals. I get what Halloween is about. I don't want my children seeing people walking around as vampires or witches, or with Scream masks. I certainly don't want them participating in any pranks/vandalism that goes on Halloween night. To be honest, I don't want to supply candy to every child in my neighborhood, and I don't want to spend a ton of money and effort on costumes. I know that the Bible says that Christians should flee from darkness, and to have nothing to do with most of the Halloween activities. I really do get all of this.

Then on the other hand, as far as the kids are concerned, it's harmless fun. We have never gone trick or treating (although to be honest that's more to do with not knowing a whole lot of people in my neighborhood more than being opposed to it). We usually go to the Fall Festival at our church, or when I'm at my parents' house, we go to the Fall Festival there. It's safe and fun. The kids usually do have costumes; dress up is a fun game around here, and we usually have an assortment to draw from if they want a costume.

Some years I feel "against" Halloween and want to stay home and have a movie night and just not participate at all. Other years, it really doesn't bother me at all, and I want the kids to go have fun. I've said before that it's okay to do the fall festival if it falls on a night other than the 31st, but that particular date is off limits.

Clearly, I haven't made a stand on the issue. (Oh, and if you're tempted to try to persuade me one way or another, trust me when I say I already know all of the arguments.)

This year, we have costumes for the girls from the Renaissance Festival, and Brendan is (of course) wearing his Buzz Lightyear costume. (Again.) We're going to the Fall Festival at church, as we usually do.

I'd love to reach a settlement in my mind on this issue. It's tough when some times it's an issue I care about, and sometimes, it's so far down on the list that it really just. doesn't. matter.

Just so I'm consistently inconsistent. My kids are going to learn a lot from that.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Fabulous Few Days!

Pin It We have had the best few days!

Monday we had our homeschool co-op, and afterwards we had big plans. We took Brendan to Dean's house, and OH MY, he was so excited. He's had some separation issues lately, and I was a little worried. I should not have been. Barely a good-bye to mama and he was off to have fun with his best buddy.

Then the girls and I were on our way! We had to make a pit stop at Kohl's first because I was approaching *blue jean emergency.* The scale may or may not be having STUCK issues, but my jeans were too big. (Like all women, I have jeans in various sizes here. For whatever reason, there is a HUGE jump between the size I was wearing and what I have here of the next size down. I've been SO discouraged by that! I finally decided to just go get some that fit. Oddly enough, they were the same size as the ones that I have here and can't zip. Whatever.) I now have jeans that fit, and fit well. :D

We left Kohl's and headed on our way to visit some sweet friends. My friend and I were talking and realized that our oldest girls have been close for a very long time. Through moves and life changes, these girls have remained close friends, and it's such a blessing to see them together. It was fabulous! The younger girls took off, the older girls took off, and my friend and I were able to just sit around and chat and relax and just have fun together!

Then Tuesday, we all loaded up and went to the Renaissance festival. It started out cold and gray outside but we ended up with a beautiful day. The girls had a great time!


Check out their costumes! They looked so lovely! They each had a friend to hang out with (and I did too!) and it made the day even better.

We stayed at their house again last night, watched a fabulous movie, and just visited and chatted again. Today we loaded up and headed home. I was really starting to miss the little man!

Any fear about him missing me was laid to rest when he saw us drive up, said "Hi Mom!" and ran back to play. Then I had to physically DRAG him to the car to take him home. LOL Good to know he's in good hands. He did snuggle me this evening and tell me that he missed me. Sweetie boy!

Now we're all worn out and ready for bed. The little one is asleep and the rest of us are headed that way shortly. We are all thanking the Lord for mini-vacations and friends and fun times!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Things That Make You Wonder ...

Pin It 1. Doing laundry and finding 17 pairs of undergarments for one child and two pairs for another child.

2. I stopped exercising this evening because The Biggest Loser came on and I wanted to watch.

3. I can devote an entire day to laundry and get every little piece of clothing done. When I go to bed that night, the laundry basket will be full again.

4. Same as #3 except with dishes.

5. The fact that I have no problem leaving the house to take Brendan to Mother's Day Out immediately after exercising (and being all grungy) but if I don't exercise, I feel that I must shower before going.

6. The compulsion that my two youngest children have to bring acorns inside the house. Any idea how badly it hurts to step on an acorn?

7. I realized that in the last month, we have had three cases of flu, two cases of strep, one bronchitis, and two stomach viruses. Four of these required doctor visits!

8. It's easier to just buy a song from Rhapsody, iTunes, or Amazon than it is to go find the CD that it's on.

9. My son got mad at me today and called me a "noodle." This was said in a loud, screechy, angry voice.

10. In planning a family vacation, I asked my friend which room choice would give us the least "family togetherness."

These are the random thoughts that are rolling around my head over the last week. Aren't you glad I shared them with you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Psssst.

Pin It Scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Please see ticker. Note the date - 10/22. (and aHEM. My husband has been gone for nearly five months. It's not THAT kind of ticker.)

Give a little WOOT~!!

(and don't mind me. I'm the little sweaty heap crumpled up on the floor.)

We are THAT Family

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In honor of the two year anniversary of the "We Are THAT Family" blog, Kristen is giving away some fabulous prizes! Just write a blog post about why yours is THAT family, link it to her post, and you're entered.

Here's mine:

We are definitely THAT family right now. Imagine a trip to the grocery store. We show up with the oldest two bickering over everything from who is going to open the door to who spotted the "slug bug" first, to who stepped in gum. Yes, my sweet girlies have actually had a fight along these lines: "I stepped in guuuuuuuuuum, youuuuuuuuuuu didn't~!!" If somehow the oldest is distracted from the fighting and arguing, the little one is always happy to step up and torment his older sister. (Funny, he only torments the middle one, never the oldest. I wonder why that is.)

Since the girls usually have the daily requirement of bickering covered, the little one is usually free to do what he does best. That would be jumping into mud puddles (remember, we live where it rains nearly every stinkin' day, LOTS of mud puddles around here), pulling that one orange off of the stand so that every one of them falls off, and my personal favorite, alternately pleading and whining for every. single. thing. in the store.

I am seriously going to go all this one day:


Our grocery store trips nearly always end with someone in tears, and sometimes it's me. The mom who walks into the store looking okay and together, and leaves with hair flying everywhere and THAT look on her face? Yeah, that would be me.

So, yes, if you see us coming at the grocery store, just keep in mind that we are THAT family, shake your head sadly, and smile and wave at us. ;) I'm betting you have some of THAT family in you too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Such as is Common

Pin It I know I've talked about the (in)courage site before. If you haven't gone there, please do. You really will thank me for it. I am just amazed at the number of posts that simply resonate with me there. I think "oh, I'm the only one who deals with this particular issue" and then go there and see a post addressing that very thing. And, usually it has tons of comments. What? I'm not the ONLY one who feels that way? Or struggles with that thing?

(as an aside - resonate is the word of the day - I saw the best illustration of this word! It was in a Beth Moore study; I think Daniel. She had a lady come up next to a piano and sing a note. You could actually hear the note on the piano, because the strings resonated with the lady's voice. I love it. We hear things and they cause similar stirrings within us; that's resonate!)

Today's (in)courage post:
Hurry.
I have actually been trying lately to slow down. I'm always rushing the kids. "Get into the car, we're leaving RIGHT. NOW." and "Would you hurry up and get your seatbelt buckled?" and "Why are you STILL doing your math? I gave it to you an hour ago!" I've been trying to ask myself if it matters if it takes even five additional minutes to get out the door, or if the thirty seconds I might save by rushing them to get their seatbelts buckled are really going to make any difference. (The math thing ... well ... it probably really doesn't matter if it takes an additional half hour to complete the math, but I'm not willing to give that one up just yet.)
Fighting Being Still
This one is along the same lines, and also resonated with me.

But then there was this one:
Magazine-Cover_Itis
I know I've said before that I don't really want to be perfect, I really just want you to think I am. And I know that right now, as in the other seventeen times I've typed that, you're gasping in shock that I'm really not so perfect. I totally suffer from this disease though. I'm driving myself and my children crazy with it. Despite my recent redo of my bedroom, and the current redo of the redo, I'm not a decorator, nor do I play one on TV, nor will I ever be one. For me, it's more being so afraid of being overwhelmed that I'm going to whatever lengths to avoid it. That has led to all kinds of frustration on the part of my children - to the point of me actually checking under the girls' beds to see if there is anything under there, and telling them that their room is not clean if I find anything. Okay, it's not a bad thing to be good stewards of what we have, and that includes keeping our space clean, and I really don't want half of their belongings stuffed under the bed, but seriously? Me checking under their beds every day? Don't I have enough other stuff to do? Think I could maybe let that one go a little bit?

That post talks about finding beauty amidst the chaos. I tend to get so bogged down with any kind of chaos that I'm physically incapable of seeing beauty. I know that part of this is the little control freak that lives in me. I haven't figured out how to let her go yet.

Maybe the first step really is admitting that there's a problem? Actually I seem to not have any trouble with that. It's the next step - what to do about the problem that I seem to struggle with. I am seeing that this quest for perfection, if that's even the right word, is a form of bondage. It's one thing when I put myself into that bondage, but when I see myself so desperately wanting my children to fit into my definition of perfection, well, that's a problem. (And they would definitely agree with that!)

I don't have the solution. The Lord does though, and I'm so thankful that He is still working on me!

So, have you gone to the (in)courage site yet? Do it do it do it do it!! I know you will find posts there that resonate with you as well, and that you will be encouraged.

(edited to add: I'm not going for the cover of a magazine. Lots of y'all have seen my house and know that very well. ;) It's more of an "I got this" attitude, or that I can handle things easily. Just so you know, sometimes I can, but lots ... maybe most ... of the time, I can't. Anyway ... I have some nice, quiet time this evening and I'm still mulling thoughts over in my head.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me Monday

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I think I need a little not-me'ing today.

I have not had a heck of a week in the last week, filled with tons on not so stellar parenting moments, with all three sick with the flu at the same time and a mother in law visit.

That said ...

The one and only thing my mother in law requests while she is visiting is coffee. That's it. No other special requests, and even the coffee she requests is very basic plain ole' coffee.

I did NOT forget to buy coffee for her before she came. Yes, I did only get out to go to the doctor's and pharmacy the couple of days before she got here, however, I did know for several weeks in advance, and did make several trips to the grocery store in that time. We did not have to stop on the way home at the grocery store for the express purpose of buying coffee.

Speaking of which, it was not me who took three kids sick with the flu into the Houston airport. Nope, not me. I did follow behind them with antibacterial wipes. That makes it all better, right?

I also did not bring my mother in law to my house and slip out alone every stinkin' chance I got. Nope, not me. I wouldn't take advantage of free babysitting like that.

The day after getting over the flu, Brendan got sick again. I didn't treat this a little too nonchalantly, thinking this was just how the flu was working for him, until I called the doctor and they said to bring him in. Now. I also didn't opt for a shot for him rather than a specific medicine simply because a shot would just get it over with. Since our experience with Tamiflu and Brendan is still splattered on my walls, I did not opt for the easy way out, even if it would cause pain for my son. And now that he is still taking antibiotics, I don't tell him with every dose that if he won't take it, we can just go get a shot. Nope, not me.

And today, after a busy day of co-op and a busy week last week, I am not sitting here trying to be as lazy as possible. I don't have a room 1/3 painted that needs to be finished, and I don't have three loads of laundry waiting to be folded. I also don't have supper that needs to be made and floors that need to be swept or vacuumed. I also have not learned that this will wait until tomorrow. Except the meal. I guess food should be something of a priority. Maybe if I aim for getting that done and then call it good enough for the night?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Indecision. It's an awful thing. I think.

Pin It Okay, well, we had the big secret painting project a month ago. Except that the secret lasted about 1.52 days because the children decided to have a fight with paint sticks in front of the webcam. I painted my bedroom a creamy chocolate color, and I really liked it. I still do actually.

Then the quest for the perfect bedding began. I actually found some that I liked and was so excited for it to get here. It got here and was size full rather than king. Not going to work so well. Then the company irritated me and I decided to return rather than exchange. So the quest continued. Let me tell you - I looked at EVERY place imaginable, online and local, and found lots of things that were *close* to what I wanted but nothing that was IT. Then yesterday the kids and I went out for a while and I found what I wanted. I bought it, came home, and put it on the bed. I love it! Really really love it.

But ...

(there's always a but, I think.)

But then I started looking at the walls. I like the brown color. But then I thought another color might look better. I thought about it last night and again this morning.

(as an aside - I took the girls to church this morning but kept Brendan home; he's nearly well, but was still running fever yesterday.)

So, we took the girls to church and Brendan and I came home. I went into my room and looked at the walls. Then I loaded Brendan up, we went to Lowe's, and bought some paint.

Maybe since there's no secret to be revealed at this point, when (and IF) I finish this project, I'll post pictures! There are still several things to do though. Paint, and then the windows (and I have NO IDEA what to do there) and then decorations. I'm really excited to have an updated bedroom!

And with all that said, I'm going to put some paint on the walls. I'm a little nervous! I hope I like it! (And I guess if I don't, I can call it exercise, right? And not only that - I have another gallon of the brown, I can just do it again, right? Right?)

edited to add: The first wall is mostly done. I like it! I did have a moment of all out panic when I first put it on the wall. Know how wet paint sometimes looks a lot lighter than it really is? Um, yeah. Let's just say that the lighter version of the color I chose is not so pretty.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update from the Infirmary

Pin It We have improvement!!

Child #1 is officially well. She had the lightest case. I wonder if that is because she was SO sick with the flu this past spring?

Child #2 seems to be the most affected. Imagine that. She was still in a pretty bad way yesterday and I think she coughed all night long last night.

Child #3 is improving. He slept (with me) very very fitfully last night and is coughing a fair amount.

#2 and #3 are faithfully taking their tamiflu. Well, #3 is taking his hidden in juice. Whatever works, right? Since tiny little dose #1 was sprayed all over him, me, the door, the floor, the table, and the cat, we resorted to plan b.

The kids are currently residing in Grammy-land. (Because wherever Grammy is, it's Grammy-land, right?) We picked her up yesterday and infected everyone in the airport with the flu. The kids are so excited about Grammy visiting! #3 showed her ALL of his toys last night. #2 really just sat around, hopefully she'll be back to her normal self and able to show off all of her tricks today. #1 is excited because Grammy means coffee, so she's walking around with a coffee cup. (Mean ole' mama usually just says no to the very idea of an 11 year old hyped up on coffee! LOL)

Our plans are to lay low again today and let #2 get well. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to report that everyone is feeling well.

Continued prayers for Grammy and me to stay well would be appreciated!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, Monday

Pin It What a DAY!!

Let me give you an overview of the weekend. Friday was pleasant and quiet.

Saturday the girls and I headed to Beaumont. I haven't had a Kohl's fix in months and it was time, plus we wanted to make a trip to Hobby Lobby. I told them we could have Pei Wei for lunch. Gabbi said that's not what she wanted. I should have been suspicious right then. In my sweet motherly way, I told her to suck it up because that's where I wanted to go, and I was paying. (My warm motherly skills bring a little tear to the eye, don't they?)

So, we get there and eat and I noticed she was shivering. It was a little chilly, but it wasn't cold inside. Then we went on to Hobby Lobby and I noticed that she was completely white. She was very clearly not feeling well, and it was easy to tell she was running fever. Sigh. No Kohl's. We got home and put her to bed.

Sunday, we were (obviously) staying home from church. Brendan was grumpy and fussy and then laid himself down to take a nap. Uh oh. He woke up with fever.

Monday, I had arranged for another mama to take Madelyn to co-op since she was still well. Madelyn woke up with fever. I've never had all three sick at the same time before! They all have the flu.

Did I mention that my mother in law is coming to visit? Tomorrow?

Thankfully, Gabbi is already on the mend. She was still running fever tonight, but it's lower, and she's definitely feeling better. Hopefully the same will happen for Brendan tomorrow (plus, he's taking tamiflu) and Madelyn will feel better by Wednesday (also on tamiflu). I have tamiflu ready for my mother in law and for me.

To add insult to injury, my much anticipated new bedding got here. It's pretty. I knew it should arrive, so I had my nephew help me move my mattress off so I could put the new dust ruffle on. Then UPS arrived, I opened the box, got the bedding out and saw "SIZE FULL" stamped on it. Um. I have a king size bed. Not so great. Actually, I kind of lost it. (Remember that crisis/inconvenience thing? Um, think crisis. Or straw that broke the camel's back.) So it's going back. Sigh. At least I changed my sheets today. I love fresh clean sheets.

So that was my Monday. I had a big long list of things to do and got to about four of them. I'm actually too tired to stress about that right now, and as soon as my husband calls, I'm leaving everything undone and going to bed.

Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Pumpkin Bread recipe

Pin It Oh, this was so yummy and so super easy!

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used apple pie spice, it's what I had)
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1 cup pumpkin puree (um, canned)
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix pumpkin puree, beaten eggs, oil, water, and spices together. Mix with the dry ingredients. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake 50-60 min or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Enjoy the fall aroma in your house as it's cooking, then enjoy the warm yumminess when it's done!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just Me and My Girls

Pin It I really have nothing of interest to say here. You've been warned, proceed with caution.

So Tammy called me a little bit ago and said they were coming to get Brendan. We had talked about it, but I had been planning to go out of town and just decided last night not to go. I forgot completely that they were going to get Brendan! He was very excited. It will be interesting to see how it goes tonight. He was VERY tired, which is one of those things that can be good or not so much. They haven't called yet, so I'm taking it as a good thing ... we'll see ...

(btw - facebook had this little analyzer application that tells you various statistics about your posts. Want to know my most commonly used word? It isn't even a word. It's an ellipsis. You know, this: ... Crazy, huh? So now I'm making a conscious effort to hold off on the ellipsis. They just pop out every now and then though.)

Friday night is my TV night, with Monk and Psych on USA. The girls both enjoy watching these as well, so we're going to have a girls' night tonight. I intended to make some pumpkin bread. Maybe I still will. It sounds good, and it would be yummy heated up for breakfast tomorrow.

So, is this the most random post ever? I have 15 minutes until Monk starts, just enough time to whip up some pumpkin bread! I'll let you know how it goes. If it's as yummy as I hope it is, I'll post the recipe!

edited to add -- the pumpkin bread was DIVINE!! Recipe to come tomorrow. In the meantime, this is the funniest thing I think I've ever read.
Pioneer Woman - Wanna Bet?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Crisis or Just an Inconvenience?

Pin It Here it is. The blog post that I've been mulling over in my mind for a couple of weeks now.

The Esther Bible study that my Sunday School class has been doing is working on me. This is a question Beth Moore posed back a few weeks ago. Why is it that we take something that is really an inconvenience and react as if it is a crisis? (Or maybe it's just me ... although if she mentioned it in her study, it must not be just me.)

Take the Handy Manny toolbox incident for example (see yesterday's "not me" post if you have no idea what I'm talking about). This caused major stress for me. WHY? I mean, it's gross and all, but to elevate it to crisis proportions? It took all of five minutes to clean the toolbox and another five minutes to clean the carpet.
editing -- one of my friends pointed out that this would most definitely be considered a crisis -- if you happened to be either Handy Manny or one of the tools. I about fell off my chair. LOL~!!

My other "not me" post. The bark and grass washed down the drain. Had me nearly pulling out my hair. My friend's family came over and the husband fixed it in about ten minutes. The kids had to brush their teeth in my sink twice. (Although -- that did nearly reach the crisis level. It's called RINSING, small people!! There is little worse than toothpaste spit unrinsed from the sink!)

So what is it about me, or about our society as a whole that elevates minor inconveniences to crisis levels? Is it that we are so self-centered and so focused on our plans that anything that alters them is so annoying? Same thing - road rage and being so aggravated about being behind a "slow car". This is absolute selfishness - whatever *I* have to do is so much more important and I don't have the time to slow down, no matter what your need might be.

Lord, help me.

Seriously. I'm trying to ask myself now if the various things that simply annoy the snot out of me are really crises or if they are minor inconveniences. Most, if not all, of the time the things that send me over the edge are so minor. It's going to be tough for this high-maintenance high strung girl to relax. The Lord does not want me a big ole' bundle of stress all the time, especially over things that are so completely minor.

So ... let's see what happens ... If you get stressed out over minor things too, join me. Let's see how it goes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me Monday

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I fully intended to skip "Not Me'ing" this week. I have some real thoughts I want to share. The Lord is speaking to me through my Beth Moore Bible study and I really want to blog about that. These children though ... they provide me with so much "Not Me" material that I just can't help but share. They are going to be so excited about this when they get older and realize that I'm sharing all of their stories with everyone who reads this. (Jim always says that kids are fair game for sermon material, so I figure they are fair game for blog material as well. My blog, my rules.)

So ...

My sweet son ... bless his little heart. He did not at any time this week practice his *aim* into his Handy Manny toolbox. Nope, not my little angel. And if he had done that, he would not have then stuck the tools back into the holes where they belong, this spilling ... um, yeah ... on the floor. And if he had done that, he certainly would never have then picked the thing up and carried it to another room, thus *dripping* through the house. He did not realize how much trouble he was in and figure that sleeping little children do not have to deal with the wrath of mom, and decide to just go to sleep, at 9:30 am. I did not decide that it was better for all involved for him to just take a good long nap.

And my sweet middle one ... bless her little heart too. She didn't receive a flask as a kids meal prize from Chick Fil A because we don't eat a ton of meals there. (ahem ... thank you so much Chick Fil A for opening a restaurant five miles from my house. I sure have gained a lot from the experience of going there several times a week. GAINED. A. LOT.) Anyway ... she did not decide to create her own science experiment with this flask. Her experiment did not include things like shampoo, toothpaste, various things she found in the kitchen, plus grass and bark. She did not try to get her brother to taste her concoction, and when he looked at her as if to ask if she was crazy, she did not pour it down the sink. The sink without a stopper. Nope, not my child.

Hm ... someone is left out. I guess she decided to lay low this week. I'm sure I'll have some tales on her next week. ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Linkage~!!

Pin It I'm tired and a little grumpy, but I have to share some links before I forget!

These are just a couple of blog posts that I've really enjoyed lately.

My Marriage is a Teenager
(Funny because in a month my marriage will officially enter the teen years.)

I Have a Confession
(I had no idea that anyone else ever felt like that!)
(Actually - if you haven't already hung out on that site, please do. You will be ... ahem ... ENCOURAGED!)

ARGH. There is another one. I can't remember where it is. :-/ I'll edit when I remember. IF I remember. I hope I do. It was really great. (I laughed, I cried, it moved me, Bob.) (Name that show.)