Monday, March 30, 2009
It's colored sand by Crayola! I did not know they made big bags of colored sand! And it was all f-r-e-e! How? Well, ya know Brad works for the city's Parks & Recreation Department. And apparently our Wal-Mart donates busted bags of sand to the city. The bosses did not want to put pink, green, and blue sand in the park so Brad got to bring it home to our little sandbox! Gogurt and Poptart were so excited to play in the colored sand.....!
You'd think being married to a turf guy would mean having the best yard on the block. But no. That's okay, I enjoy doing it myself.
I could not stand it any longer so this morning I went and bought my first plant of the season. A simple fern to hang on my backporch. Not knowing how much cold weather we are yet to have, I restrained from buying more.
Last year I tried to concentrate on buying plants that would grow back each year. I have seen some of them sprouting already, and our crepe myrtles have lots of new growth on them as well.
Hopefully I will have pictures to share with you when everything starts blooming. I can't wait!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Yesterday was quite a day. Nothing bad happened, no major trauma or anything, but I was extremely busy. Was at preschool until 1:30. When I got home I had so much typing to do I wanted to cry. One of my doctors is trying to catch up with his work and is dictating before hours and after hours. Good for the next paycheck, bad for my emotional stability.
The point of this post is NOT to gain self-pity. As I said in my last entry, I am so very blessed to do what I do. The point of this post is in fact to tell you what an amazing man I am married to.
I had barely sat down to start typing when he got home from work. He saw my fragile state and took control.
He made our menu for next week. He made the grocery list. He went to the grocery story and bought the groceries. He came home and cooked supper. He cleaned up after supper.
As if this was not enough, he skipped a once-a-month hangout-with-friends night to stay home and do all this for me.
A few years ago I would have struggled to find much of anything positive to say about my marriage. Some of you know the story. Some of you don't, and that is okay. Just know Brad and I have not been immune to Satan's attacks on marriages today. But God restored our marriage, and that is never far from our thoughts.
So, Brad, if you ever read this, thank you. For everything.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I'm talking about the age when kids pretend. Pretend to be everyone else and anything else but themselves. Pretend ordinary things are unordinary and make the mundane exciting. Poptart is definitely in this stage. Almost 4, she lives in a pretend world.
We have been kidding her lately that every single sentence she utters begins with the word pretend. Here's an example of what I hear regularly from Poptart without her taking a breath.
"Pretend I'm your friend and I come over to your house and we play school and pretend you are the teacher that says Good Morning and pretend you tell me to get out your Show & Tell and then let's pretend I have to go to the bathroom, but my momma gets here to pick me up from school so pretend the bed is the car and my momma drives me home and ........"
I'm sure you get the picture.
Now I'm all for using your imagination and spending quality time with your children as they involve you in their imaginary world. But, be honest, (because I desperately need to know I'm not the only bad Momma out there) after a while, it just GETS OLD.
I find myself pleading with Poptart. "I have an idea! Let's pretend I'm the Momma, you're my daughter, and this is our house." That never gets very far.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Poptart has an imagination and is using it, but for heaven's sake I think I'm gonna go crazy if I hear her ask me one more time to pretend something. And remember, I am in a room of 4-year-olds three days a week so I hear them pretending there and then I come home to even more pretending.
Here is where I should fill you in on one of my weaknesses. Guilt. I suffer with a mother's guilt. I feel as if I should stop and play with my children every single time they ask me too. I know that is crazy and unrealistic-no matter, every time I say no to them guilt overwhelms me.
I blame my typing. I spend a few hours each day on the computer, therefore limiting my time to just play. Gogurt is totally comfortable with this. I've had this job since he was 2. I know Poptart will get to this point, but until then, I deal with guilt.
The three days I teach preschool is even worse on the guilt front. We're at preschool and then as soon as we get home, I have to start transcribing. Oh, it hurts me. But, my family has developed some bad habits, like eating, so I must continue on. Especially now that Brad changed jobs and is making even less than before. We couldn't make it without my income.
I'm blessed, very blessed, to be able to do what I do. I have not worked full-time outside the home since a month before Gogurt was born. He is 8. I have however been working inside the home for going on 6 years. I have never had to experience the guilt of leaving my babies at daycare, but I have experienced the guilt of being here but not being home. Of having to continually say, "You know Momma has to work so go play by yourself."
So let's pretend I get rid of my guilt.
Pretend I never again feel my working is negatively affecting my children.
Let's pretend they grow up and realize Momma and Daddy worked pretty darn hard to provide for their needs.
Then let's pretend they grow up and have children of their own.
Pretend Poptart is an awesome Mom and Gogurt is a terrific Dad.
And then let's pretend they say they learned from the best. Pretend that doesn't make Grandma cry.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
You know the kind. Just out of the blue a question comes you weren't quite prepared for.
So, I was asked, "Who made God?"
I tried to answer best I could, sounding as smart as I could while eating a ham sandwich. "No one, God has always been here and He will always be here."
That seemed to suffice for the moment. But then the boy replied, "And if He gets killed, He can just come alive again, right?"
"Ummm, right, except God never gets killed."
My only guess is that He's been hearing the Easter story and was referring to that?
How would you have answered his question?
Monday, March 23, 2009
But then Poptart could not find her favorite stuffed animal at bedtime. She has had this particular stuffed animal for a few years now and it is very important to her. Gogurt never really got attached to a stuffed animal, blanket, etc. so when Poptart bonded with this animal, we thought it was really sweet.
The problem is we lose the thing at least three times a week and end up searching for it before bedtime. I like to think of the search as having three levels:
Level 1: We find it simply by walking through the house and glancing in each room.
Level 2: We find it by looking under couches, in closets, the pantry, and perhaps even the fridge.
Level 3: This level is the extreme despair and panic level. There is nowhere else to look. We begin to feel as though we have seen the thing for the last time.
We were at Level 3 last night. After exhausting Levels 1 and 2, we arrived at Level 3. Poptart was walking around the house wailing, "I'm NEVER gonna sleep without him." "My life will change FOREVER" What will I do if I never sleep AGAIN?" I was trying to comfort her, but I was a little afraid she really would never sleep again, and then what would I do? I was about to have a meltdown of my own when my beautiful, smart husband came walking down the hall holding the sacred, searched-for stuffed animal. He had found it!!!
I know you want to know where he finally found it, so I'll tell you.
We had company over this weekend and Poptart and her cousin slept in sleeping bags in the floor. The next morning I rolled up the sleeping bags and put them away. Little did I know Poptart had "hidden" her stuffed animal deep down in the sleeping bag.
So our beloved stuffed animal had been rolled up into the sleeping bag and stuck in the top of a closet! Poor thing!
I don't know what made Brad think to look in the sleeping bags, I know I never would have thought to do it. Well, on second thought, I do know what made him think to do it. I think it was God having mercy on me and my family.
With Poptart holding her favorite stuffed animal close to her chest, she asked me to rock her. I gladly agreed, and she was sound asleep within minutes. Whew. That was a close one.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Many of you probably remember Bob Woodruff. He was the foreign correspondent on ABC News and we would often see him reporting from faraway places, and more often than not, he was reporting from the middle of a war zone.
After Peter Jennings' death, he was given the job of World News Tonight co-anchor with Elizabeth Vargas. But he would only enjoy that job for a few weeks.
On January 29th, 2006, the tank Bob was traveling in through Taji, Iraq, was hit by a roadside bomb. He was critically injured.
This book is about his long recovery (alot of which he does not remember). His wife, Lee, writes most of the book, and I cannot imagine as a wife what it must have been like to see your husband in that grave condition, missing half his skull.
Bob and Lee write an honestly painful account of how their lives were changed, in an instant.
I do not know if the Woodruffs are Christians and after reading this book, I still do not know. And that made me very sad. Prayer was mentioned a few times, but I never got the impression that God was their Rock during this horrible time in their lives. I pray I am wrong.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
MSU received a 13 seed which was a little disappointing. We won the entire SEC Tournament, but now we have to travel across country to play Washington, in an arena only 3 hours from their campus. You can read here what our coach and players think about that.....it might surprise you.
No matter, our boys have made us proud.....a few weeks ago a trip to the NCAA tournament was looking highly unlikely. Now we're in - and we couldn't be prouder.
If you are not a fan of college basketball, my apologies, because I'm sure this won't be my last post about the tournament!
If you are a fan of college basketball, enjoy the Madness!!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Oh, okay, that makes pefect sense. If you ever watch PBS (and since that is our only cartoon channel, my kids watch alot of it), you will recognize this statement: "Additional sponsorship provided by The American Science Foundation and viewers like you!" I flipped to the front of the book, found the publishing company's name and read it to her. Thankfully, that seemed to satisfy her!
This morning, Gogurt woke me up asking this question, "Momma, what is our state mammal?"
I had no idea. Told him to look it up in an encyclopedia when he got to school. But in case he forgets, I just looked it up online. It's the white-tailed deer.
Any other questions?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This survey was to determine the measure of people's well-being. It asked questions such as "Did you smile alot yesterday?" "Are you satisfied with your job?" "Did you eat healthy all day long yesterday?" "Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the area you live?"
After all 42 questions were answered, they compiled a list of the states in order of their citizens well-being.
So here's the results. I know you just cannot wait to know how your state ranks.
Okay, if you live in Utah, your well-being is off the chart. Utah-ians are good at being well I guess. Second was Hawaii. Third Wyoming. I've never been to any of those states, but apparently I need to go.
Now the bad news. The three lowest states in the well-being rank are Mississippi, Kentucky, and dead last is West Virginia. Could it be the coal mines?
So there you have it. American's well-being according to Gallup and some insurance companies. I am sure they spent alot of time and money on this study. I just can't quite figure out why.
Wherever you are, I hope your well-being is ummmm, well. If not, I propose moving to Utah, or Hawaii, or perhaps Wyoming.......
Monday, March 9, 2009
Much to his chagrin, Gogurt has been recruited for chore duty. When he gets home from school, he has a snack, does his homework, then checks out his chore list on the fridge.
This was his list of chores for today:
1. Load and run the dishwasher.
2. Make your bed.
3. Vacuum the living room. Return vacuum to hall closet.
4. Gather all the dirty clothes in the house and bring them to the laundry room.
He does not get paid for doing these things. I think he actually enjoys it, a little bit, maybe. And today Poptart told me she wished she was older like her brother. When I asked why, she said she wanted to do homework and chores! Oh wait, baby, you're time is coming.
I'm curious, are your kids expected to do chores around the house? If so, what kind of chores do you have them do?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
What is your attitude toward:
Do you love reading the Bible? Going to church? Do you love the people once you get there? Do you love the world more than His Son?
Hmmmmm, something to think about!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Seriously, Brad and I were just talking about how we need a new camera. The picture quality with our camera is okay at best, and just this week the "Delete" button stopped working. So now every single picture that we take is stuck on our camera. Annoying.
Anyway, I'm blogging about this camera contest to get another entry and up my chances of winning it! I will also Twitter about this contest for yet another entry. If you are interested in entering this contest, check it out over at KingdomTwindom.
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Now don't laugh. But these are the names I came up with: My 8-year-old son will be "Go-Gurt." My 3-year-old daughter will be "Pop-Tart."
Obviously, we are food-centered people around here.
My son's favorite after school snack is GoGurt, but in truth, my daughter could take or leave a Pop Tart. But "potato chip" just wasn't working for me. She does like Pop Tarts, but I just would not go so far to say they are her absolute fave.
So from now on, when I am discussing Gogurt and Poptart, please remember I'm talking about an 8-year-old and 3-year-old respectively. And if I ever come up with better names, I'll be sure and let you know.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Last Thursday, I received an extra special gift. Homemade banana nut bread. There was no special occasion--this little girl and her mom just wanted to bake a small loaf of bread for her preschool teacher.
I couldn't wait to get home and try my bread! But then I lost it. Yes, I lost the bread.
Let me explain. I arrived at school that morning, received my bread, then received a phone call that my son was sick at school. I had to leave my class to pick him up from school, and the bread (accidentally) got left behind.
Okay, I thought, I'll just go back and get it later. I even called and asked my boss if my bread was still in a safe place. Yes. My bread was there and it would be kept safe and uneaten until I returned to retrieve it.
Fast forward a couple of hours. I return to my classroom. No bread. I go find my boss. She assures me it was there just a few moments ago. She looks. No bread. We looked in the office, the supply room, and other classrooms. No bread anywhere.
Where did it go? Someone swiped it. Was it a malicious bread thief or a well-intentioned she-left-her-bread-here-and-I-don't-want-it-to-ruin-so-I'll take-it-home-with-me bread thief?
Either way no one has mentioned my bread. No one saw a thing. This crime has no witnesses.
And I have no bread.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Even if you do not listen to country music, you most certainly remember the song he wrote and sung titled, "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)" shortly after September 11th.
This book was written about their life and marriage. The Jacksons were small town folk. He worked at the K-Mart for a time, and Denise was a 2nd grade teacher before becoming a flight attendant. For the sake of time and space, I won't retell their entire story--you'll have to get the book and read it for yourself!
I will tell you this much. This couple has been through the valley. Separation. Affair. More separation. Loneliness. Despair. Hopelessness.
Denise reminds her readers that it is in the valleys of life you realize just how much you need a Savior. Someone who will never leave you nor forsake you.
If you have never experienced a valley of darkness in your marriage, consider yourself blessed. If you have experienced a valley and your marriage survived, you will understand this. It's not about you. And it's not about your spouse. It's all about Jesus. When the two of you become focused on Him and accomplishing His will, nothing can tear you apart.
This lesson is a hard one to learn. And at times it feels impossible. Once it's learned though, it is a beautiful thing.
I will leave you with a quote from the book:
"It's odd: I would never have chosen to go through the pain of those
awful days, but through it, God got my attention. I had been skimming
along on the surface of my fairy-tale life, ignoring the fact that Jesus was
softly and tenderly calling me to come home to Him. I'd closed my eyes to
any warnings that a storm was coming in my marriage."
"Once that storm broke my heart wide open, though, I finally cried out to
God. I heard His voice. I felt His love. And I realized that
Alan was never designed to be the center of my life. No human being could
fill that place. Christ alone could truly be my all-in-all. "
( Denise Jackson, "It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life")