Monday, May 4, 2009

Monopoly...the 1935 edition.

My family loves game nights. We really do....and it doesn't even matter necessarily which game it is. For the moment....it's monopoly. A while back, it was Sorry. Chandler's always asking us to play a game of cards...but we never really ever do that much. Today was one of those non stop phone days....which means I was on the phone almost the entire day.....so I was so very thankful that we had the opportunity to get together as a family tonight...and just play. It was also nice that I won the entire game handily!! Lol!! Now don't get me wrong...this family game night was nothing like the commercials that you see....you know the one's....all laughing and giggling. Nothing but smiles. Oh no...my family is way too competitive for that....we had quite a bit of pouting at hand...but not so much that it ruined it! Truthfully, it was still just SO nice.

When I was younger, I always wanted a big family!! I remember saying that I wanted to make sure SOMEBODY would come home for Christmas! But I'm starting to realize how thankful I am to have a big family now. I know we're loud...and I have realized we don't get invited to quite all the social events on the weekends since there are 6 of us...but that's ok. We can have a whole group of us playing domino's, cards, games, or whatever. I am so very thankful somedays for the chaos that is going on...obviously not every single day...but I am learning to appreciate the walk. It's a process...and I'm working on it. Every single day, I'm working on it. And today....I worked on it by beating the pants off of everybody in my family playing monopoly! Woohoo!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update...

I was at a birthday party with a friend that I had not seen in a couple of years yesterday. She was asking about Jillian...and happened to mention that she followed my blog. I laughed and said," uh oh...I better go update. My last post was on one of those bad day posts". We got tickled for a minute....and then realized how nice it was to go ahead and admit that we all have bad days. Some of course worse than others..but bad days nevertheless. I thought I needed to say that Madison came through her root canal with flying colors. She did fabulous!! She actually told me that the Lord had healed her...because she had not been hurting at all. I was so thankful to hear that whole sentence!!! Now, we just have to make the appt. to get her crown put on, and we'll be done. I also need to update on Chandler's trip to Dallas...it was canceled. Yes...canceled. Why you ask....swine flu. Can you believe that? The superintendent of the school board canceled all trips to Texas....because of swine flu. Chandler had expressed some concern about going....I think that was on the highest media hype day...and truthfully, I was a little concerned...but I thought to cancel it was just silly. I was really thankful to not have to worry about him going again..but felt bad for him for it to be canceled. It was going to be a great trip...so maybe they'll be able to reschedule it.

So, things are leveling out. Actually, maybe it's just me that's leveling out. End of the year activities usually stress me out a little bit. Reflecting on the year...what's gone right, and what's gone wrong. What I wish we could redo...and wonder why I didn't do certain things. And to be perfectly honest this year has been tough. I need to welcome it's closing....and look forward for the summer!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm all over the place right now.


Just to be clear....I have no idea if that's a picture of a good book or not...but the title cracks me up!!! My emotional state is questionable right now. I admit it. I'm not going crazy or anything....but I have way too many mixed emotions that it's causing some inner conflict. Chandler got home from DC last night. He had a great time...other than the day he got the most horrible stomach virus ever, had to stay in his room until they kicked him out....and then got pushed around the National Archives in a wheelchair. Yeah...other than that, he did have a really good time. He got to see so many things....the White House, the Capitol, etc., etc., etc. He had an amazingly loving teacher that cared for him while he was sick...but when she got off the bus at the school...she was sick too. I felt so bad...and then we found out today that Chandler's roommate has been sick all day today too. Ugh!! I know that I know it wasn't Chandler's fault..he just happen to get it first...but I still feel bad. So we have been asking Chandler all about the trip...and then he remembered his choir trip is Friday. Which means....I had totally forgotten another trip to Dallas that he is taking this stinkin weekend. How does a mom forget that? (at least Chandler has lost track of time too....) How is it May already?? When did all this happen?? Tonight was also the 6th grade parent meeting for the kids that are heading out of elementary school and into middle school. Yep...I've got one of those too. When did that happen also?? Madison is SO not ready for middle school. To say we've had a difficult year with her is the understatement of the century. I'm extremely glad to see this year go....but am I ready for her to be at the middle school?? Um....no!!! Maybe after she has her root canal tomorrow we can talk about it. Oh yeah...did I forget to mention my 10 year old is having to have a root canal?? Ugh #2... I also found out today that her end of the year field trip is on a day I have to work...which just doesn't help. My precious worker is going to come in a bit early that day so I can at least make it for an hour or two. I just can't believe it'll pretty much be her last parent invited field trip. I'm just sitting here thinking about those dreaded middle school years. Chandler had one incident on his trip where one of the "popular" 8th graders really put him down and literally laughed at him, while trying to get the other "popular" kids to laugh at him also, because he was buying his little brother a wooden sword.....(which for the record Collin LOVED!!!)....and I just wanted to find that kid and punch him in the face. Ok, not really, but good grief it made me mad. I think, and I hope I'm not wrong...but I think Chandler's secure enough to handle all that...but is my Maddie?? I just don't know. I know I can't guard her forever...but homeschooling never looked so good!! And I'm realizing now that I have 6 straight more years of middle school before the break in between the ages for Jillian. Wow...I suppose I better get a grip on this soon...or y'all may be seeing more posts like this! Yikes!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Proud Momma!


Ok, so I know the last posting of Chandler singing about diarrhea probably didn't shine forth the true gifting of my Chan man. He is actually quite talented in so many different ways....and I am really so very proud! This week, he is in Washington DC on a school trip. They have packed full days...going to all the memorials, museums, the White House, the Supreme Court, then heading to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, etc. etc. When I talked to him today, he said he was pretty tired, but it was very worth it. Only 50 students out of the 7th and 8th grade are allowed to go on this trip. To be fair, the system is....that their names are picked with a lottery system. They choose numbers 1 - 50, and then everybody after goes on the waiting list. Once your number is drawn..you have to maintain a 3.5 gpa, and have NO conduct marks whatsoever. If you either go below on a 3.5, or get a conduct mark... you are out!! This really is a great way to ensure it will be a manageable group of kids going on such an expansive trip. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of hoping Chandler's name would not get drawn. It's fairly expensive...but it's worth it if money isn't an issue with you. So when his name, and his close friend's name were drawn, I told him he HAD to help raise this money for him to be able to go. We did a little bit of research to figure out what might be the best way to go about this....and we decided on candy bars. We ordered candy bars from World's Finest Chocolate...and he got to selling. He has sold candy bars virtually every single day since before Christmas. He earned almost the entire amount of money he had to have. He flew out on Wednesday morning...EARLY...and has been going ever since. When I talked to him last, they were in Williamsburg on their way to see a glass blower. I asked him if it was worth all the days of toting a box of candy bars around...and he said YES!! I am just bubbling over with pride for him. He's not perfect, so I don't want you to think I'm one of THOSE parents. But he is a great kid...he's worked hard...and he's now getting to see the fruit of his labor. What a great lesson he's learned....and what a great prize he's rewarded himself with!! I can't wait to see all the pictures he has taken....and I'll try to post a few when he gets home with them!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Boring days of Spring Break......

video

I know I am probably ruining the idea that many people have of me by posting this...but I thought for a 13 year old this was pretty clever. My Chandler is the one singing, Madison is next to him, and my nephews are in the background.....try, try, try to get a good laugh....enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy April Fool's Day!!

My friend Alisha sent this to me this morning....and it made me laugh out loud.....


One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh no," I said. "Disneyland has burned down." He cried and cried, but I think deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late. ~ Jack Handey

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jillian likes shaving cream....ALOT!

video

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Mouse House...


Well, I honestly can't believe I'm going to tell the entire world about the mouse house....but there really is a purpose to it...so here goes.... I was walking out of Super One Foods the other day, and saw they had sitting by the door, grills for sale. Just like so many other grocery stores, they bring in seasonal stuff, then they mark it up outrageously, and try to get you to "remember" you need a grill for the summer! Does anybody really buy that? Anyway, back to the point of my story...when I saw that grill....my mind immediately went back in time. For real....I went right back to the end of 1998, and the beginning of 1999. Madison was a baby, and Chandler was just about 3. We lived in our 2nd townhouse, which was right across the street from our 1st townhouse, and very conveniently 2 doors down from my mom's townhouse. I loved our street, and our situation with my mom being so close. It really was one of those ideal situations....for a little while at least. But then, the bottom fell out....I started noticing hints of mouse droppings. Then I saw a mouse, and then eventually two.....and so on. Our row of townhouses backed up to a cow pasture, and evidently little tiny field mice had come in and built a nest somewhere in our walls. It was awful!!! I cannot even explain to any of you out there how truly awful it is to have a mouse infested house...that you can't seem to do anything about. We called our landlord, they would do nothing. We called an exterminator, they said they could come set traps....which is exactly what we could do, and did. I won't go into all the details, but before it was all said and done, I couldn't even watch movies like Fievel Goes West, Mickey Mouse....or any movie for that matter that had a cute little mouse in it...because we frankly had had to kill so many. It really was a time that I think the Lord had to give us all grace to live through, because when I think about it now, it just freaks me out. Anyhoo....so when I saw that grill at Super One a few days ago, and my mind went back to that time, I found myself laughing in the parking lot thinking about what all we went through. I remember one time, a mouse was bold enough to come out while we were all in the living room....Roy and Chandler, (who again was 3 by now) had cornered this mouse under Chandler's little recliner. They couldn't figure out what to do next, but Chandler thought it was the most fun in the world. I remember running upstairs with Madison, but could still hear them downstairs. I sat there and listened to Chandler belly laugh so much with his Daddy trying to catch that mouse. I remember sitting in the kitchen on the phone with Roy while he was out of town, (at the time he was a drug rep, and traveled quite alot), and seeing little mice scurry around all over the top of our grill on the back porch. (Hence the recollection when I saw the grill) When we finally moved into our current house, back in 1999, Chandler was so sad, because he didn't want to leave "the mouse house". How crazy is that?? So, I sat in my car driving home, thinking how I never imagined then, that I would look back at those times with fondness. And while they certainly weren't great times in our lives....we sure made some great memories. I realized then, that I hope and pray, that in 10 years from now....I will look back on these drastically different, but also equally stressful times, with fondness. Am I taking the time to make the good memories? Or am I just drowning myself in the stress of daily life. I want to have more times to look back on and laugh about than I can count. And truthfully, it's just a decision away. A decision to look at things on the bright side. Maybe if I continually ask myself..."how am I going to remember this in 10 years?" it might put a new perspective on it. I'll keep you posted how it goes...but as of now....I am exceedingly grateful that mice in my house is not one of my stresses!! Praise the Lord for small wonders!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wii Fit


I've recently gotten the Wii Fit. I love it. I really do...it's ALOT of fun, but it's also quite motivating! The first day after working out, it said I had lost a pound....but it quickly told me that weight can fluctuate 2 pounds or so, up or down. Basically, it told me not to get too excited! The next day, I went up 2 pounds...and to be perfectly honest, I was really bummed. However, I then expected it to tell me not to worry...my weight can fluctuate. NOT!! It immediately said, oh no, let's figure out why you're gaining weight. Are you eating too late? Are you doing enough excercise? What's up with that?????

Monday, March 23, 2009

While I'm Waiting.....John Waller

While I’m Waiting
Psalm 5:3, 27:14, 33:20, 37:7, 38:15, 40:1, Isaiah 30:18, Lamentations 3:24
John Waller

"The explanation for this song is simple, I was waiting on God and I was hurting when I wrote the lyrics. I probably wouldn’t have written
a song if my friend, Mike, hadn’t encouraged me to document what I was going through during that time. I’m sure there are few people
who can’t relate to this song, but the important thing to remember while we’re waiting on God is to not just wait but to actively wait.
Serve, worship and be faithful with what you have, where you are… “even while (you) wait.”

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord


I absolutely love this song!! I actually really like John Waller, and the lyrics to several of his other songs too.....go look him up. I'm sure you'll love him as much as I do... Anyway, back to this song.... I know I'm not in the waiting game for my adoption anymore...but this song would have been a perfect way to explain what I was feeling and thinking at the time. But just because I'm not waiting on my adoption...doesn't mean I'm not waiting on other things. I'm sure like all the rest of you, there are promises that we just know that the Lord has placed in and on our lives...and we are just waiting to see what (or more accurately when) on earth the outcome is going to be. These lyrics challenge me, (because so often I fail at this particular challenge) and I hope they would challenge you also, to serve Him while we are waiting for whatever it is that the Lord has called us to. To wait peacefully. At first glance, (or listen in my case)....I thought to myself...seriously?? Move ahead, bold and confident?? Are you kidding me?? Every step in obedience!!! (Again, I'll say....very often, I am a total failure in that area.) Wow....how much different would my outcomes be if that was what I did. Obviously, that IS exactly what we are supposed to be doing!!! I have learned, yet one more time through my study of Esther....that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ IS working behind the scenes even when we don't physically see His work. His promises are clear, and they are promises....now we (I) just have to wait on Him.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bummer.

My computer crashed last week. And I mean totally crashed. Blue screen of death crashed. We took it to the computer store....and they said they could restore it, but would have to wipe it clean. I said, everything?? And they said...EVERYTHING. They couldn't save one thing I had put on my computer....no files, no music, and NO PICTURES. I thankfully had uploaded most of my pictures to snapfish albums, but there were some, I had just neglected, and hadn't gotten done. Mainly miscellaneous pictures...that I had no specific album to put in. I have an amazing picture of my mom and Chandler at Chandler's Christmas choir concert....that thankfully I recovered...but I had no album to put it in. After I got my computer back, with nothing on it, I immediately ran around my house to find all my memory cards to see exactly what I still had on them. I was surprised to see how old some of them were, and I did manage to salvage a few pics that I thought I had lost forever. My China pictures, which I had uploaded, and already have the hard copies of, were on one of those cards. As I was going through them, I realized how different Jillian looks. I mean, I know she looks different, but she has really, really grown. I'm pretty sure I did this with all my babies, but since it's been awhile since they were babies...I just didn't remember how stinkin FAST time goes. And how you don't even realize at that age, how fast they change....and you don't even notice it as it's happening right before your eyes. I'm so thankful that Jillian has been part of our lives for long enough that WE have been able to witness her changes. Her hair is so much longer, she's taller, she's thicker....and I LOVE watching it. I LOVE seeing her change. Now, if I could just freeze time.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where to begin....

I have tried to figure out how to start back blogging. Should I explain my time out? Should I not? Should I just give a few details, which of course would be very boring to you? I've decided not to go into all the long, drawn out excuses, but I will say...the Lord has done several mighty works in my life, and I am ever so grateful. There are a couple of areas of my life, that have been such faith builders over the last months. Truth be told, a couple of areas have been nothing but a roller coaster ride for quite some time. I have to tell you, I'm ready to be off that ride....for good. That's all I'll say for now....but there definitely have been some things I've wanted to blog about....and I think it's time to get back at it. If for no other reason, for me. It's a fantastic way for me to go through my day, realize my blessings, and have a few deep thoughts. Lol!

So, I'll jump right back in now.... A few months ago, he came home telling me there was a new student at school....and he was from the Ukraine. I at first was thrilled, and wanted Chandler to be best friends with him immediately, just so I could pick his brain about the Ukraine...but no such luck. He'd mentioned his new friend here and there, but nothing too much. And then, quite honestly, I had forgotten about it for the most part. Well, last week, Chandler came home and told me that one of the counselors at the school had pulled Chandler aside and told him that Max was having a difficult time making solid friends, and she asked Chandler to befriend him, and maybe have him over and maybe even have him spend the night. First off, and slightly off subject, I have to say how excited, and impressed I am that this counselor thought enough of Chandler to ask him to do such a thing. Secondly, I immediately had all kinds of questions. What would this mother who brought her child all the way from the Ukraine think of a relative stranger inviting her son to our house. Because of all these very random, and slightly concerning questions, I made an appt. with the counselor, who arranged for me to meet the mother. Long story short, Max came over today. He seemed to have a great time, he went to church with us, and then I brought him home. I have certainly had my "deep thoughts" about all this. As most of you know...my heart is in the Ukraine. I felt very certain I was to adopt from the Ukraine...but was clearly wrong on that issue. Nevertheless, my heart hasn't left those Eastern European countries. Romania, Russia, Ukraine, etc. So, why out of that entire school, would that counselor, who doesn't know me at all, ask Chandler of all people to befriend him? Why is Jillian's new facilitator for speech from Romania? I am consistently reminded of these countries all the time. I may totally be reading more into this than I should...which I often do....but I still am so very happy to have made a few connections to those countries. Maybe one day I will be able to go there. Missions is continually crossing my mind these days. Who knows what the future holds?? I sure don't....but I do feel blessed. On many, many fronts.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

He is!!

I know I've said before how music, and lyrics can really move me. Praise and worship is a very important part of my life...and more often than not I hear the Lord speak to me more during those times of worship than any other. So, when I find a song that really moves me..sometimes I obsess over it. Ask my kids...or my workers...I will play it over and over and over just trying to squeeze out every bit of power that I can from it. He is by Aaron Jeffrey is one of those songs for me. I have gone through cycles with it...where I play it all day, and then where I don't play it for months. I hadn't listened to it for so very long..and then lately I have realized that my children for whatever reason, don't know the books of the bible. I don't know why I've not known that before...maybe I just took for granted that they did. From owning a teacher store, I have learned that children can memorize so much more when it's put to a tune...so I started trying to find a tune that the books of the bible were to...and then I remembered the song He is. I pulled out my cd and began to listen to it, mainly to refresh my memorization skills before I started working on them. And as I was listening to it....the power of that song came through so fresh, like I had never heard it before. It goes through the entire bible, and states what the Lord is in every single book of the Bible....and it is so unbelieveably moving to me. If you ever thought for one moment that the Lord couldn't be to you what you need him to be..you are so very wrong. He is everything. I'll type out just a few of the descriptions of Him that particularly move me....but I would encourage you to go pull up this song....on whatever search engine you can...and listen to it. Let all that the Lord is, soak in...accept it, and accept Him. It starts out in Genesis, where He is the breath of life, onto Exodus where He is the passover Lamb...then the High Priest, Moses's voice, He is salvations choice! Judges...law giver, trusted prophet, He's sovereign, a true and faithful scribe, He's the rebuilder of broken walls and lives..In Esther He is Mordecai's prophet, Job's timeless redeemer, He is our morning song....He's wisdom's cry, the cry for Israel, the call from sin, the stranger in the fire, He is forever faithful.....He is the Spirits power, the arms that carry us....the Lord our saviour!!!! He's the great misionary, in Micah the promise of peace...our strength and our shield....He is the restorer, our fountain....the Son of righteousness, rising Healing in his wings....In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John He is God, man, messiah, power of Love, in Galatians He is freedom from the curse of sin... Our glorious treasurer, the servant's heart, the Godhead trinity....our faithful pastor, the everlasting courage, in James He's the one who heals the sick, King of kings, and Lord of Lords....He is!!!!!! Prince of Peace, Son of man, the Lamb of God...the great I AM, the alpha and omega. It ends with those overwhelming words...and when time is no more..He is! How amazing, comforting, overwhelming, awe inspiring! I can't say enough to describe how I feel when I think of all that He is. I don't let Him fill near enough roles in my life. I try to fill too many with myself, my own works, other people....and truth be told.....only He can fill those empty spots that I try to squeeze anything and everything in. He is!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Random Pics

On the way to Mamaw and Papaw's to open presents.
Jillian liked her new pillowcase more than I thought she would! :)
Daddy and Madison on New Year's Eve at a friend's bonfire.
Roy and Chandler at MaMaw and PaPaw's.
My handsome boy.

What is in the water??

I'm not sure what it is, but I am just over the top emotional these days. Last night I was crying with and for Madison...tonight I'm all stirred up on another front. We had a little incident with Chandler today...and I thought, "are you kidding me?? are you for real?". I won't go into the details, but it's all in all not so bad. Normal 7th grade stuff...but I was just not in the right mindset I guess. Today was also our final homestudy meeting we'll ever have. It was our 12 month post placement report, (which was actually way overdue, but I couldn't find my social worker). When she left the house, I thought back on all we had gone through over the last couple of years. Yes...years.... ridiculous I know. I remember our first appt. so very well. I was a nervous wreck, and she (our social worker) was so soothing. We got so much done so quickly, that I knew the Lord's hand was on it. You know, I think part of what gets me is maybe how long our entire adoption process took. And because it takes so long, and consumes you so much, you almost become attached to it. If that makes any sense at all. I worked on paperwork for months, I think I applied with our agency in June of '05. Once we finally got our paperwork to China, we then waited a solid year before we heard anything. Literally, I mailed our paperwork to China on June 30th 2006, and got the call about Jillian on June 26th, 2007. I wanted one of those shirts that said, "Yes we're still waiting. No we haven't heard anything. Thanks for asking.". I loved them...but I resisted. Once we finally, finally got the approval to go get her, then waited what seemed like the longest wait ever...to be able to get on that plane to go...and then ever so suddenly, it all came full circle. We had her in our arms. Now, we have been working in reverse...having to prove that she is in fact thriving with us....and she's not being abused. To do that, we had to have the social worker come out after we had had her for 6 months, and then a year. And now, after ALL that, we are officially done. It's complete. No more. Wait...a finished project?? That's just about unheard of in my house! Roy should be proud of me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My heart hurts.

Madison is having friend challenges. And they are absolutely hurting my heart. Believe you me, I am fully aware of those challenges she brings on herself..and she does it quite a bit....but this time, it's of no fault of her own. She's hit the "don't tell your mom, or I'll never talk to you again" stage...and it's awful. I am going to a Beth Moore bible study on Esther. If you have never done a Beth Moore study..you need to. She's amazing. I'm not one that likes to tout different preachers or teachers...because I firmly believe if you put PEOPLE too high on a pedestal, you and you alone are bound to be sorely disappointed. But she has a gift....and she may be flawed in many other ways, (although I have yet to see a flaw of any kind!!), but she is gifted in teaching the Word. She can link the bible to make sense from so many different angles. Today, part of the study was on mean girls. And she was so perfect in her description in so many different ways. One of the things she was saying...was that it's not really in her nature to be mean. But man, let a mean girl get ahold of one of her girls...and the mean girl came out!! I got so tickled at that, because it is so true. I'm not necessarily mean...but I do have very definite opinions...and I have a hard time faking it if I don't agree. That's the politically correct way to say it I suppose! :) Anyway..I am totally feeling that right now. She's got a best friend...and they've been best friend for quite a few years now. Well, the bff decided to get a little ugly this weekend...and do some stuff she shouldn't do with Madison at the house. Then, she decided to tell Madison that she could NEVER, EVER trust me because I would tell the bff's mom..which I absolutely am going to. This mom is going to freak out as much as I am. So now..the bff is all "I'm not going to be your friend if you tell, etc, etc." And while, I know that I know, they'll probably stay friends...the first crack has happened. They've had tiffs before...this is nothing new, I promise. But this is "don't tell your mom....you can't trust your mom, etc.". That's bigger in my book. Maybe I'm just taking it personally....I just don't know. So often, my other kids get praised for grades, or soccer, or this and that...and I feel like Maddie Lee gets overlooked on the recognition end of the totem pole. She's not the best dancer, artist, brainiac, etc. But she IS gifted!!! I just want all ya'll 5 people that read this to know...she is a mightily gifted person. She has more compassion in her pinky than many grown adults could ever muster together. She is a caregiver....she's probably given Jillian more baths than me....because she wants to do it. And she loves. When she loves, she loves deep. I believe the Lord has high and mighty plans for her....we just have to get through middle school. And we aren't even there yet! My knees are going to be tough as nails for a few years...I can see it now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Glimpse.

I know the path the Lord has us on is pre ordained. I absolutely believe that the Lord has hand crafted our steps to get us exactly where he wanted us to be. My head knows that, but my heart has had a second thought lately. For the first time in a very long time...I've wondered what our life would have been like if we had taken this path, or that path. I guess, through reconnecting to my early childhood friends, then college friends, and now even friends from our early adulthood, I'm able to see, in hindsight mostly, all the different paths that my friends have taken. One of my elementary school friends posted pictures from high school....and it hit me like a mack truck..."that would have been my life if we didn't have to move". I moved from New Orleans to West Monroe in 8th grade. It was pure torture. I had such a major cajun accent...and I was picked on ruthlessly, so I overcompensated for it... and became the biggest country hick you can imagine. I remember right before we moved, I was about to try out for cheerleader, etc. And then we had to move to north Louisiana, which is truly like a different country compared to south Louisiana....it just doesn't even compare. None of that is particularly relevant, but I will say...those pictures kind of took my breath away...and I'm not altogether sure why. Maybe because I've always wondered what those elementary friends were doing? I really have thought about them so much over the years. Maybe it was strictly because of the 'what if's' it brought to mind. But as I was thinking about that, I then remembered some of my college friends that I have recently reconnected with. Great people in college...the ...you know the type I'm talking about....the kind you wish you were, but weren't. Now they are definitely the 40ish professionals, doing great, drinkers who love a good party. I have to say, I was really shocked. That's not the path I would have ever guessed they would have gone down. Now, while the decision to move from New Orleans to Monroe wasn't my own. What we've done with our adult lives has been our very own personal decisions. How easy could it have been for us to go that route?? Living the life!! Please don't misunderstand me...they are having a ball and a half!!! I'm sure alot more fun than we have a whole bunch of the time!! What small little steps have we taken that have put us on the path we are on. There were several, several decisions that we made as newly married couple that I look back on and could really let myself get down about. Major missed opportunities...some because of fear, and some because of ignorance. Totally on my part....I had a plan, and a change in the plan scared me to death. I have felt really bad over a few of them several time...but I always go back to the fact that I have to believe that whatever the reason, the Lord knew, and has guided us on this path. I guess I got a glimpse....maybe opposite from the one in Family Man..I just got it backwards. What if Roy had gone the politician route? (yeah..I bet that surprises alot of you!), or the doctor route. What if we had all the money in the world, but had lost our faith. I don't want to be raising my children in an environment other than one that is pleasing to Him. I don't want to be chasing what the world tells me to chase. I want Him...and His guidance, and His ways for my family. Wow...what a glimpse...what a gift. Truly a gift.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I love winter.

I really do. Maybe it's because we have so little actually cold weather...but when we do, I just love it. Several years ago, Roy decided we had to have gas logs in our fireplace. So, we saved up, and got gas logs. Bad decision. We never, ever liked them...so we finally cut our gas off...and have left them for quite awhile. Finally this year, Roy asked his dad to help him rip out our gas logs...and plug the hole where the gas line was...and theygot it done. Today was our first fire in our fireplace in so long....I can't even remember how long it has been...but it has been heavenly. Absolutely wonderful. Our house smells like wood....and it's crackling....and I just feel so cozy it's ridiculous. Collin ended up having a friend come over...and since it's so cold outside...Roy let them build a fire in the firepit outside also. Just for the record...he helped them build it...and it was very supervised. Anyhoo...as soon as that fire was up and going....the requests began...hot dogs...marshmallows...oh wait!!...smores!!! So, we ran up to the store and got all the goods...and got to roasting. Which made the day even more heavenly. The only thing that could make this better...is if we woke up to a nice layer of snow....which isn't anywhere near the forecast..but a girl can dream!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pre teen girls....yikes!

I've got one....one of those pre teen girls that is almost just a little bit too big for her britches! I am so struggling with finding a balance of discipline with her. She is an amazingly compassionate, and loving child. Her nature is to not hurt a fly...but I'm convinced the influences that surround our girls these days overwhelm them. Girls that are only 1o are doing things that 15 and 16 year olds used to do. If you have ever watched any episode of Suite Life of Zach and Cody...or Drake and Josh....and pay attention at all...it is disgusting the amount of disrespect and bad attitude these kids have towards any sort of authority whatsoever. I'm sure we owe pop culture a great big thank you for that...but I think it shows a pattern in parents as well. Now, don't think I'm claiming to be the best parent ever....if I was, I sure wouldn't be struggling as much with what on earth to do. What I mean by the affor mentioned statement is.....pop culture can say what it wants...but we as parents have the right and frankly the God given obligation to say no. I can't even tell you how hard that has become to a certain level. For Chandler...my oldest...he would just accept no, and move on. He may not like it, but he would for the most part, accept it. He pretty much knows now, that we just aren't going to let him go to dance parties left and right. We've let him go to 2, and they were given by the same person. We are comfortable with the parents....so it was ok. Madison on the other hand just doesn't accept no very well. She is very much her mother's child. I never have accepted no well....and I'm paying for it now. Ha! Not to make excuses, but I think girls are far more brutal than boys are in terms of peer pressure...at least for this age. Recently, there was a movie that I strongly disagreed with her going to. Again, Chandler knew I wouldn't let him...and he actually agreed that it wasn't appropriate after we read the reviews....Maddie..not so much. She stood her ground with me for awhile...but then her stance began to erode. Every other friend was going....I've let her see worse, etc. etc. And I have let her see worse...but learned from those mistakes...and realized how much more I needed to guard what they watch. I'm just afraid that we are getting used to the dark..and if we don't ask for God's hand over our children...and for His total and complete guidance for our (my) decisions....they are really going to be used to the dark. I was speaking earlier with a like minded friend who was sharing with me the same struggles with her daughter..who is also a very good girl. She gave me such Godly advice that she had used for her eldest daughter. She would tell her daughter...."If you think I'm being overprotective....then pray for me. Pray that the Lord would open my eyes to see that I should give you more freedom". I just thought...wow! What great advice. My children believe in the power of prayer...and hopefully, they realize I'm not just irrational with my decisions. I do almost always try to explain my yes's and my no's. Not that I think they have a right to hear it...but so they will trust me that I have not made my decisions without thinking. It's just such a fine line to walk...and if anybody that reads this has any advice...please, please, please feel free to let me know! I'm open to any suggestions!

Friday, January 16, 2009

History

Does anyone else obsess over history? I suppose obsess is a relatively strong word, but I do think about it quite often. Tonight, we were watching the history channel....watching the historical recount of Valkyrie....(not sure if that spelling is right or not). I have always been fascinated by WWII. The power Hitler had totally, and absolutely perplexed me as a child. I couldn't then, and can't now even begin to fathom how someone could be brainwashed into torturing people the way they did. How and why did so very many people fall for it???!!! I honestly can't think of one single thing that could make me believe what I was doing was ok...if I was them. But as usual, I have strayed from the point of my post. As I was watching that program, it continually referred to the year 1944....the year my mother was born. My true fascination with WWII came in about 6th grade. Maybe 7th. So that's Chandler's age. I very distinctly remember being his age...and looking at what life was like the year my mother was born. My grandad, who we called Bumpa, was engrained in the thinking of the great depression. He likewise taught my mother those ways...who tried to teach us..but we rebelled. Roy has said he will move out at the point that we start hanging plastic wrap on our cabinets to dry....after we've washed it to reuse it... sorry Mom...no offense. My around the block, chasing a rabbit or two thought on all this is....what does Chandler see great about what my generation has done. It just seems like from 1940-1970 Soooo much changed. But from 1970-now...it just seems like we have become more attached to the things we shouldn't. Our cell phones, our computers, our 50 million channels, etc. Something to think about I suppose.....maybe that can be your thought for the day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is for you Ashley.....

As usual, I have no excuse why I haven't been posting. Of course, that's really not true...but I've realized lately, for the upteenth time, that you will find time for whatever you want to find time for. I just had this discussion with my almost 13 year old child...who when asked to do his chores, he threw at me that he was really stressed because he was behind on his bible reading. That, at that very moment, he was about to delve into the word....and pour his heart into it. Can you say manipulation? I did. I told him straight up that he was not going to manipulate me that way..and he was going to do his chores, and then delve into that word that he held so dear. I told him that if it was that crucial to him, he would not have spent hours outside with his friends. That if it was stressing him to the ends of the earth, then he wouldn't have been fighting over his turn for the Wii. Right? Of course it's right. And so it goes with my blog. For me to say, I just don't have time, really isn't true. I do have time...I'm just wasting it. As I've mentioned before, facebook is fairly addictive...and I spend more time than necessary on it. Chill time is also fairly addictive....I actually wish I had more time to spend on it...but it's certainly not necessary too often. So, I am officially making time to post today....all that was just my introduction....here comes my actual post....

Yesterday was Collin's 8th birthday. It was a great day, but his party isn't until Saturday...that's when the real fun will come. His party is at a ranch...where we'll have hay rides, pony rides, and a petting zoo. It's the first time any of us have been there...so we definitely have our fingers crossed that it's going to be all we expect it to be. Yesterday morning, he decided he wanted a big breakfast, so I got up and cooked bacon, eggs, and biscuits...and toast to make him a bacon, egg sandwich. At lunch, Roy went and ate lunch with him...and for dinner...he chose CiCi's pizza. I so desperately wanted him to choose somewhere else..somewhere GOOD!! My church has an annual fast for 21 days...and I've been fasting certain foods, but made a concious decision to release myself from the fast for Collin's birthday dinner. He was so selfless about deciding where to go, trying to find a place that we all could eat at...and I decided that wasn't fair to him...since this fast will ALWAYS be during his birthday...so he would never actually get to eat what he truly wanted. Of course, after he said CiCi's...I had to remind myself of that. This is HIS dinner..whatever he wants. Sadly, after not eating bread or meat for a couple of weeks...CiCi's was pretty stinkin good. I suppose everything is relative.

So, until Saturday...Collin's birthday was celebrated right there at CiCi's....8 years. Man, it has gone by so ridiculously fast. Don't blink....