Friday, July 31, 2009

TV Diary

Our week of being a Nielsen family is over. I finished up the TV diary and mailed it yesterday. I was encouraged to see that we actually did not watch as much TV as I thought we would. I'm sure being out of town for the weekend and then Gogurt being gone a couple of nights to his grandmother's helped that out (since Gogurt is our most obsessive TV watcher).

There would be some weeks I would be embarrassed to admit how much TV my kids watch. I try to limit it, but it's hard, especially with me working at home and needing at least a couple of hours of peace and quiet throughout the day.

I am pretty sure Nielsen doesn't receive too many diaries like ours. One TV in the entire house and very, very limited cable. Most of our viewing consists of PBS cartoons or America's Funniest Home Videos on WGN, but it repeatedly said the diary was important no matter how much or how little TV viewing was done during your week.

I am still perplexed as to why they gave me $30 to do this....but I'm not complaining, believe me. Nielsen bought Gogurt's school supplies this year!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reunion Time!

Last weekend was our family reunion in Alabama. A beautiful setting on top of Skyline Mountain in a community named Pleasant Groves. We missed the reunion last year but made plans to be there this year. I'm so glad we did!

The playground equipment was new since we were there last. My kids had a blast playing. I'm glad there is a playground attached to the community gives all the kids something fun to do while the adults sit around and catch up!

This view is from the porch of the community center. It looks out onto the gazebo and the playground. Very nice!

This is the community center where the reunion was held. I'm not sure how long it has been there, but they sure keep it nice and clean. For such a small community, they have provided their citizens with a really nice place to have parties and get-togethers.

And now down to business. The food! It was great! Hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecue along with side items and a table full of desserts! Yum! We were so stuffed after that big lunch, we barely ate anything else the rest of the day.

We had a really good time! See ya next year!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Faith is that
blessed grace which is most pleasing to God, and thus it is the most displeasing
to the devil. By faith God is greatly glorified, and
consequently by faith Satan
is greatly annoyed.
All the powers of
darkness which are opposed to right and truth are sure to fight against our faith, and manifold temptations will march in their legions against our
confidence in God.
Faith is your
jewel, your joy, your glory; and the thieves who haunt the pilgrim's way are all
scheming to tear it from you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And We Get Paid For It?!?

About three weeks or so ago I received a phone call. Caller ID said "Nielsen Ratings." I almost didn't answer, and if Brad would have been here alone, I am sure he would not have answered. But, I can barely stand to hear a phone ring and not answer it. It's just hard for me. So I answered it.

They asked me if I would be interested in filling out a TV diary for their Nielsen Rating research. It's pretty simple. You fill out a few survey questions and then record your TV viewing habits for one week. The guide shows you just how to do it, the mark to make if your TV is off, the mark to make if your TV is on but no one is watching it, and so forth.

I was going to agree, and then the sweet lady told me I would get paid for doing this. Really? Yeah! 30 BUCKS! WOO HOO! Count me in!

I received the packet in the mail today. And inside was $30 in cold hard cash.

Our week starts Thursday. This should be fun, and probably guilt-inducing when I look back and see how much time we actually spend in front of our TV. But, I'll worry about that another day, right now I'm smelling the money, baby.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summers Around Here

My children's first choice for a summer activity would be this: a yard full of friends. And this is not all of them, this is just the ones that happened to be home to gather on this particular day. On another day it might be a different group. But nonetheless, a watermelon break on a summer day is pretty good don't you think? And yes, Poptart hangs with all these boys. She can swing a lightsabre with the best of 'em.

All good things must come to an end though, and last week most of the kids around here were gone to dads' houses, grandmother's house, or on vacation. So my kids had to be each other's company. The pool seemed like a good idea, so we filled it up and hopped in. Gogurt likes the water, but Poptart loves the water. She always stays in longer than Gogurt does. They were actually getting along quite well in the pool when this picture was made.

But alas, getting along with each other also comes to an end and they want to do something alone. Or should I say, Momma gets so tired of the arguing, I force them to do something alone.This is what Poptart chose. (I told you she likes water). This bucket is full of water, and she is "washing dishes." And getting soaking wet.

Gogurt chose to build a "fort" and hide from the enemies that are lurking all around us. (I think he looks so cute in a hat, he should wear one more often). His worst enemy, a.k.a Poptart, was busy in her bucket of water so he could play in peace, but then again, do you really want peace when you are playing war?
So this solitude did not last long, not near long enough for me, but we can't get our every wish.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Little Heaven Talk

On our way to the ice cream shoppe to meet my mom and my two nieces for some ice cream, the kids and I were listening to our Alan Jackson CD in the car. Gogurt cued it to one of our favorite songs, "When We All Get to Heaven," and the following conversation ensued:

Poptart: "Momma, when are we gonna be in heaven with Jesus?"

Me: "I don't know, sweetheart. Nobody knows. We will either die and go to heaven, or we will be alive to see Jesus coming down from the sky to take us to heaven."

Poptart: "I need to know what Jesus looks like so I'll know it is him."

Me: "Oh, you'll know it's Him. He'll be the only person you've ever seen coming down from the clouds. Everybody will know it is Him."

Poptart: "What will we do in heaven?"

Me: "Praise Jesus, forever and ever and ever." "And we will get a crown and a mansion, but I believe all we'll really want to do is praise God."

Poptart: "What color crown will I have?"

Me: "Umm, I'm not sure." "What color would you like to have?"

Poptart: "Well, on Barbie and the Diamond Castle, she had a purple crown so I want a purple crown."

Me: "Ok, I'm sure Jesus will work that out."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy Week

We are in the midst of Vacation Bible School thus my absence from the blog the last few days. Well, that and I just haven't felt like I had anything interesting to share.

I plan on posting some pictures from VBS once it is over. I haven't put any pictures on the blog in a while.

I really try to have my typing done by the time we leave for Bible School although yesterday I did not manage my time well and had to work after we got home. Today I'm doing better. I am all caught up at the moment (that's why I let myself get on here and post for you guys), but I am sitting here just waiting for a doctor to dictate so I can snatch it up, type it, and be done. I really don't want to have to work tonight once we get home.

It's not that VBS is so tiring in itself, it's just the fact that we are gone from home six nights in a row. For a family who stays home alot, that is alot. But it is worth it.

For Brad, late nights and arising at 5 a.m. do not mix. But at least he gets off early in the day so he can come home and nap before we leave. He's doing that right now. I wish this post had sound. Be glad it doesn't. Did you know that one of my doctors I type for"prescribes" sewing a tennis ball into the back of your pajama shirt to curb snoring? I had never heard of that before, but I'm tempted to get out my needle and thread.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sayings to Share

I have always enjoyed reading quotes from people who are far better than me at putting a profound thought into a small statement. I received an e-mail with several quotes supposedly written by a 90-year-old woman. I suppose she has learned quite a few lessons the hard way.

I wanted to share a few of my favorites and add my commentary (which will probably not be profound or small) but since this is my blog, I can be as long-winded as I want to!

OK. Here goes.

*When in doubt, just take the next small step.*
The most important word in here to me is small. I think the problem Brad and I have been having about his going back to school is trying to take the next GIANT step instead of taking itsy, bitsy small steps. We were trying to figure it all out and have all the answers before we ever took the first small step. God is waiting to see us step out on faith, and I hope He is pleased. (I mailed the application today!)

*However good or bad a situation is, it will change.*
Yes, this is true and similar to the saying, "This too shall pass." Unfortunately the only thing constant in life is change. And I deal horribly with change. But, after growing up a little, I have realized that no situation, no feeling, no circumstance will always stay the same. This is somewhat comforting, but it can also be disturbing. If you are going through something right now and you see no way out, just remember, you won't be here forever. Your circumstances will change and this situation will eventually be a memory.

*Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.*
Oh, I like this one! And isn't it so true! We worry about ourselves, what we said or didn't say, what we did or didn't do, and I think we'd be surprised to find out exactly how little other people even pay attention to what we do or say. Of course, this is not to say we should not be careful in how we treat others, but no one takes us as seriously as we do. So, in the words of my husband, the words that instantly has the reverse affect on me, "Chill out."

*What other people think of you is none of your business.*
This one sort of goes along with the prior one. How much time do we waste wondering what other people think of us? It's none of my business what you think of me. If you choose to tell me, I will take it in and I will appreciate your honesty. If not, I shall not waste another moment of my precious time worrying if you like me or not. I promise. Really.

*If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.*
There's nothing like a little perspective to put our problems in their place. I might think I have problems, but all I have to do is start talking to someone, anyone, and my problems seem to fade into the woodwork. I wonder if everyone feels that way? I don't want your problems, and I don't believe you want mine. I wouldn't know what to do with your problems, and you wouldn't know what to do with mine.

*If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.*
This may be my favorite. I have a feeling I'm gonna use this alot with my kids in a few years. If you can't tell Momma about your girlfriend, then she ain't right for you! It's not only for teenagers though. Plenty of adults need to heed this advice. It is simple. If your relationship has to be a secret, something is bad wrong. And you better get out.

*Don't wait until God says go. Go until God says stop.*
This wasn't in this same e-mail I received but was told to me later. I pray this is what we are all striving to do. Go until God says stop. Boy, that's scary. Exciting! But scary.

Okay, that's it. Hope I didn't bore you. Feel free to share which of these is your favorites or if you have another favorite you'd like to share with us!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thanks to you who left comments here and also to those who e-mailed me privately concerning my last post. Thanks for being encouraging voices to us!

Brad is still working on his application to seminary. If you have ever filled out a seminary application (or any other kind) you know it is like a book. He has had to write "mini-essays" concerning his salvation experience, what he feels his calling is, and how he defines a divine calling. He also has to go to the doctor to get "checked out", and he has to send in a copy of his immunization record. His Momma is working on that (how is that going, Nana?). I do know a little about trying to get your hands on your immunization record. I had to get a copy of mine when I started teaching preschool last year, and it turned out to be quite complicated. Anyway, I hope all these loose ends get tied up soon, and he can start the wait - the wait to see if he is accepted.

Once he is accepted, classes will start middle of August. He is planning to take one class at the extension campus and one class online. I'm so excited for him!

And since we're talking about school, can I say we've come upon the part of summer where Gogurt starts getting bored? He's told me several times today that he has nothing to do. It also doesn't help that several of the neighborhood kids are gone this week visiting dads, grandparents, etc. and he is here all alone. Poor Gogurt.

He wouldn't admit to being ready for school, and I'm not ready to say it either. I'm sure later this month I might say it (and by then I won't really have a choice), but for now I'm still looking forward to the few things we have left to do this summer. Vacation Bible School is coming up, and it is always fun. I am teaching 5th and 6th grade and Brad is teaching missions. I think I'm as excited as the kids this year! After VBS, we have a trip planned to Alabama for a family reunion. We missed it last year so I'm glad we are going this year.

After VBS and our little trip to AL, we'll have to start gearing up for school. All of us.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The First Step Is The Hardest

Those of you who know me know I LOVE Casting Crowns. Their music has gotten me through some really rough times. It seems no matter what I'm feeling or going through, they have a song that ministers to me and says exactly what I am feeling but just can't put into words.

Brad is beginning the application process to seminary. He has filled out the application and handed out letters of recommendation. He spoke to someone on the phone yesterday at the extension office and was very encouraged by the conversation. He is hoping to take two classes in the fall.

This is very daunting. We've almost talked ourselves out of it several times and in fact there are voices, both in our heads and literally, that are discouraging us. Past failures are haunting us, but, as this song will say so clearly, we are striving to listen and believe the "Voice Of Truth."


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No Shame

*****THANKS!******* I have 10 followers finally! Next goal--15!
I've been stuck at 9 followers for a long time. I'm SO appreciative of you 9, but come on guys, let's make it 10!

If you are a regular reader, please click on "Follow" and put me at 10 followers!

And yes, I have no shame, I'm begging!