I am so glad the holiday season is over for the year. While I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas, it has been quite exhausting and I'm just plain tired. Unfortunately, the kids are still running full speed ahead. I seriously need to invent a remote control that has a "Child Mute" button and an "Instant Sleep" button.
In fact, my husband was watching a Stargate episode last night where the people were "infected" with some sort of bug that made them go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. It occurs to me that this sort of technology could be quite useful in the world of parenting. I could program them to go to sleep at the same time each night without fussing or whining. There would be no more "I'm not tired!" to contend with. Wow! Wouldn't that be awesome...
Oh well. Since such a thing does not actually exist, I will simply cope with the process of reprogramming them the good old fashioned way - BRUTE FORCE!
December 28, 2009
I am so glad the holiday season is over for the year. While I thoroughly enjoyed Christmas, it has been quite exhausting and I'm just plain tired. Unfortunately, the kids are still running full speed ahead. I seriously need to invent a remote control that has a "Child Mute" button and an "Instant Sleep" button.
Posted by Mom at 12:22 PM
December 2, 2009
We spent the evening at my mother-in-law's house enjoying dinner and letting the kids play. The highlight of the evening, though, was when Grandma finally said it was time to decorate her tree. Her boys had set the tree up last Thursday, but the decorating had to wait because she was too sick for the girls to come over and help. She wouldn't dream of trying to decorate the tree without them, so she waited.
I don't believe I have ever seen two children more excited than those two little girls as Grandma pulled box after box of ornaments out for them to place on the tree. They both eagerly awaited the next piece that would be handed to them for the most important task of locating the very best spot to showcase that ornament. Daddy even helped them when they decided that an ornament was best displayed from the higher branches where they were unable to reach, lifting each one up to the proper height and holding them steady until their precious ornaments were placed upon the proper limb.
I laid on the sofa and watched the excitement, preferring to sit on the sides and take in the scene. Being involved in the process only irritates me when I'm tripping over little people or dealing with the "me first" cries of excitement. It's much better for me - and them - if I just sit and watch.
Grandma turned on the radio to play the seasonal music so that we could all enjoy the songs of holidays while the tree was being decorated. It was quite relaxing to lay there and listen to the chatter of excitement and the "oohs" and "ahs" as the girls were shown each new ornament. Grandma even told the stories of the ornaments and how they came to be in her possession. This is my favorite part, listening to her talk about the history of her tree's adornments. It's a special time for me to hear how she remembers those ornaments and the people who gave them to her or the special meaning that each one may have for her.
There was a time, not so very long ago, when Christmas was absolutely the WORST time of year for me. I was the Bah Humbug Queen. Now I actually enjoy most of the season's festivities. I've learned how to remove myself from the parts that cause me too much stress and enjoy those times that are special thanks to dear husband and his family. I am so blessed to have him and them in my life.
Posted by Mom at 12:39 AM
November 30, 2009
I'm cold. This may seem like a normal way of being considering the time of year, but this is the first time in over five years that I have actually been cold. My body temperature was elevated for the past few years due to pregnancies and hormonal irregularities. I was always burning up. I slept with a fan blowing all night, much to my husband's displeasure. He endured. Now, I'm freezing. It takes me hours to get warm at night, even with piles of blankets to snuggle under.
I. DO. NOT. LIKE. THIS. AT. ALL.
I've even considered the possibility of adding to our family just so I can be warm again. (OK - not really...)
Posted by Mom at 11:27 AM
November 23, 2009
It's that time of year again. Another round of holidays to be faced and conquered. This year feels different, though. I'm not so anxious. I'm not so restless. I've barely even realized that it is holiday time again.
The past year has been a time of growing and moving for me. I'm no longer bound by the pain of the past in the way I have been before. I'm no longer waiting for my "family" to get their act together. My focus is more on my own children and their holiday experiences.
Perhaps my grieving is over now.
Posted by Mom at 1:25 PM
November 12, 2009
I spent last night awake through most of the night reading a book that I picked up at the thrift store a few weeks back. It's one of the Chicken Soup books. Admittedly, I've never actually read an entire Chicken Soup book. I love opening them in the stores to a random story and reading just one or two of the entries. For some reason, though, I just couldn't stop reading this one last night.
I read and cried. I cried and read. Until 4 in the morning I devoured the pages and took comfort in many of those heart warming stories.
My husband tossed and turned all night, possibly because my light was on and possibly because our 5 yr old was in our bed due to an unsettling dry cough that had her feeling needy. Every now and then through the night he would open his eyes and ask if I was planning to sleep at all. By now he knows my body's rhythm and knows that I often spend entire nights awake. Every now and then, Kira would open her eyes and smile at me when she found that I was looking right at her. She may never realize that I always knew when to look at her because she would begin to stir just moments before opening her eyes. In her mind, she will think that I spent the entire night watching over her without ever taking my eyes away.
Maybe one day my girls will write their own entries for one of those Chicken Soup books. Lord knows I give them plenty to write about...
Posted by Mom at 3:05 PM
November 6, 2009
I have a new published article. I would love it if you would check it out. Read it. Like it. Stumble it. Twitter it. Yada yada yada.
Ten Things a Woman Should Never Apologize For
Posted by Mom at 10:04 AM
October 31, 2009
Posted by Mom at 11:01 AM
October 30, 2009
We went for a drive through the trees yesterday. The colors this year are glorious and vibrant, unlike many years before where the trees dropped their leaves unceremoniously from their limbs to the ground. This year, the trees are putting on a show. It's nice. If you enjoy the beauty of colorful fall leaves, get outside and experience the display. With all the rain that we've had here in Georgia, the display is definitely worth the effort.
Posted by Mom at 5:37 PM
October 24, 2009
Do you know that feeling you get when you come across a person that you just know will touch your life deeply?
Over the past two weeks, I've been blessed to become acquainted with two such persons. One person, I've known for sometime through the Internet but only just met in person today. I spent a few hours at her house with her kids. I was so surprised at how easily we fell into friendship without the usual jitters of meeting new people. (She's not even a little bit crazy like most of the new people I've met over the past couple of years... well, there was that incident with the exploding washing machine and the knives... but that's another story.)
My friend's little girl is, shall we say, a bit needy. The child wants to be held nonstop. I can sympathize with my friend because my youngest has times when all she wants is to be held held held. It can drive a woman over the edge, especially when there are things that need to be done. To my amazement Little Angel gladly allowed me to pick her up and hold her when her mother was occupied with cooking our lunch. I expected to be wholeheartedly rejected when I offered to pick the child up. Instead, I was embraced with acceptance and love. (Poor Kira was very unhappy about having to share HER Mommy... but we managed a solution that was acceptable to both girls.)
I sat for a long time rocking and singing to Little Angel as she sucked her thumb and cuddled her blanket. She was soaking up as much snuggles and attention as she could manage. I was hooked. (sigh)
I'll be making that hour long drive again in a very short two weeks so that I can spend more time with my new kindred spirit and her dear children. (They all cried when I left. I have no idea why. I'm not all that special as far as people go.) I know my friend will be looking forward to more relief from her demanding duties serving the diva of her house. She's probably already counting the days...
This was a good day. I am thankful for these new people that God is bringing into my life. I am uncertain of His reasons and their purpose, but I am still thankful.
Posted by Mom at 8:39 PM
October 23, 2009
I need duct tape today. My little angels are being awfully whiny. I'm not sure why this is, but it's starting to get on my nerves.
One lost her beloved Beatin (aka: blanket). The other one lost her beloved pacifier.
Somehow, they believe that I should locate these objects that have been misplaced. Why is that? It isn't MY Beatin. It isn't MY pacifier. It isn't MY problem.
Except... they whine about it. Instead of looking in all the obvious places, they come to me and whine. Where is the fairness in this?
Posted by Mom at 11:14 AM
October 17, 2009
October 15, 2009
You may not be aware, but I am severely overweight. My doctor is even to the point of recommending the Lap Band Surgery. I vetoed that idea outright and told him I wanted to wait a while longer and try just one more thing.
Well - my one more thing is my sister-in-law. She has graciously volunteered to be my personal trainer. We are meeting 3 times a week to do workouts that she is tailoring to my specific physical needs. There are certain things I can't do because of my pain issues, so she understands that and is helping me work around my issues.
A friend of mine sent me this video today while we were chatting about my newest endeavor. I felt compelled to share this video with my readers. This is the first time I have ever heard of this comedian, but he's great.
Enjoy the video ...
Posted by Mom at 11:36 AM
October 14, 2009
Time is ticking away.
The counter has begun.
The contest will begin shortly.
Do you want to win free stuff?
Are you ready?
Well, well, well - do I have the spot for you.
Visit The Art and Science of Parenting on Friday evening. I will be posting details regarding my next give away contest right here.
**If you want to be a sponsor, just send me an email at email@example.com or leave me a comment below.**
Posted by Mom at 2:58 PM
October 10, 2009
I conquered the swinging bridge today. I cried from one side to the other, held tight to the ropes with each hand, but I made it across the bridge and found a moment to look out and admire the beauty of the view while I was in the middle of my own personal crisis.
Thirty years ago, I walked across that same swinging bridge. I didn't want to make that walk. It was a very scary path for the 5 year old me. I cried and begged to go the other way. My stepfather would have none of it. He insisted that I walk across the bridge that hung suspended over the trees and shook with every step.
At the middle of the bridge, where it was the most shaky, he stood in front of me and jumped up and down on the bridge.
I screamed - terrified of the motion and the depths below.
I look back on that now and wonder what his motives were.
Was he trying to show me that the suspended bridge was completely safe and there was no need for my irrational, 5 year old self to be so afraid?
Did he take pleasure in causing me to scream in that manner?
Was it fun for him to stand there and jump so heavy to make the bridge bounce so hard?
Did he know just how hard it would be for me to forget that experience and how it would haunt me some thirty years later when I came back to that same spot and faced the crossing of the bridge again?
I have no way of knowing if he was, indeed, just trying to ease my mind about the safety of that bridge. It is completely possible that he took great pleasure from my pain and terror. It is also completely possible that he was trying to teach me that there was no reason to be afraid. Whatever his purpose, he instilled in me a memory that is filled with fear and tears and unhappiness.
Yet I faced the bridge today and I conquered.
My girls - not the least bit afraid - bounced across that same bridge and giggled the whole way. Kira, walking with her Daddy several feet ahead of me, made sure to step very heavily along the way so that she could cause the bridge to bounce just a little bit more. For her, the first trip across the swinging bridge at Rock City will be remembered as a fun and memorable moment. She stood on the other side waiting for Mommy to catch up, then bounded out at when I reached the halfway point to meet me. I stopped and took her by the hand to point across the vast expanse of Tennessee that could be seen from that midway point on the bridge.
Then I cried a little harder as she bounced back to the side of the bridge - making it swing just a little bit too much for my liking.
I conquered the bridge. I know I should have some feeling of elation and accomplishment for having made it across the bridge today. Instead I feel sadness and exhaustion. The emotional toll was heavy for me. Even my new memories - those I form by taking my children to see the adventurous places close to where we live - are tainted from old images and fears.
Posted by Mom at 1:14 AM
October 6, 2009
I'm awake now, probably for the rest of the night. I had another nightmare.
I woke up about an hour ago and just can't seem to get back to sleep. I did try, even though I had doubts that I would manage sleep again this night.
In my nightmare, I was on my way home. I met my mother along the way and asked her where my girls were. She told me that they were back at the house with my stepfather. I was suddenly overtaken by such anger and horror that I could not see straight. I tried to run - but dreams usually prevent that - and finally made it to the house where my children were supposed to be. The house was not that far away from where I had met my mother. She was just leaving as I was arriving.
I entered the house with feelings of anger and terror, as well as anxiety, washing over me. The house was darkened, as it was late at night.
I walked down the hall to the last room and found my stepfather laying in the bed with a sheet over him. Kira was in the bed, too, but fully clothed and not under the covers. I remember screaming as I entered the room, "Where are my children!," demanding that they be safe.
When I entered, Kira scuttled to the wall - as far away from 'him' as she could get. He was playfully grabbing at her foot as he laughed at me - taunted me - thinking I would be helpless to protect her, as I had been helpless to protect myself so many years ago.
I raised the cast iron frying pan (Now where did THAT come from? Funny thing about dreams...) and hit him with the frying pan right on top of his groin area.
This is when I woke up - shaken and still filled with anger and terror.
To help me deal with the dream, I found myself laying in bed analyzing each moment. Here is what I noticed:
1) I never let my mother watch my children. I don't trust her. (Can anybody guess why?)
2) The anger I felt - and still feel - at the thought of my children being left alone with that man is overwhelming, sickening.
3) Where DID that frying pan come from? I know I didn't have it in my hand when I walked into the room, even though I recall having a thought of something to hit him with when I first entered the house.
4) He was the same man of 30 years ago. He had not aged. Of course, this is not a realistic vision. I haven't seen him in 20 years so I have no idea what he actually looks like now.
5) Kira was trying to get away from him. I remember trying to protect myself many times by avoiding instances where we would be alone or where he would have opportunities to hurt me. Once we were alone, though, I never had the ability to try to get away from him. I recognize this part of the dream being about me wishing I had been able to escape.
6) Marisa was nowhere to be seen. This makes sense, of course, because she is only 3 - not 5. It's the age connection that causes these dreams. Hopefully by the time she reaches the magic age I will have gotten past the nightmares.
7) I fought to protect her. This is what has had me in tears since I woke up. I still have no idea where that cast iron skillet came from. In my dream, I could not feel the weight of that skillet. Those things are incredibly heavy, but I lifted it with ease and brought it down on him with ease. I fought for HER!
How I wish my own mother had fought to protect me! Perhaps things would have been different in my life if she had chosen to protect me instead of him. I cried tonight over that point in this horrible dream because I realized just how much I wish somebody had tried to protect me.
The anger I feel is so strong that I wonder how my own mother - or any mother - could not feel this towards the person who is hurting their child.
I did get up and check on the girls. I found them safely snuggled in their bed. Actually, they were snuggled up together - side by side - with their arms and legs intertwined. I had to move Marisa back down to her side of the bed to keep her from falling onto the floor.
I tried to go back to sleep, but each time I close my eyes I find myself back in that bedroom - back in that dream. I decided that I needed to get up and write to get past the horror. I feel better now...
Posted by Mom at 4:07 AM
October 5, 2009
My back hurts.
The house is a mess.
The kids are arguing.
It's cloudy and dreary outside today.
I have way too much to get done and no motivation.
Posted by Mom at 11:23 AM
October 1, 2009
My heart is sad tonight. I can't really pin down why. I just feel sad. I think the feeling can be traced to the moment when I realized that my 5 year old had taken it upon herself to clean her room. She spent more than an hour picking up toys and putting them away. I have no idea where this sudden desire to straighten up her things came from. I'm not complaining that she did this. Indeed, it is a good thing that she is starting to take a bit of responsibility to take care of her own room and her own things. It's just that she was so GROWN UP about it all. She was so proud of herself, calling us to her room every ten minutes so that we could follow her progress. This growing up thing is very difficult for me...
I must go be sad now.
Posted by Mom at 11:42 PM
September 27, 2009
It's very early in the morning and I have yet to sleep. Perhaps this isn't exactly a true statement. I slept for about two hours in the early afternoon and awoke around 7:00 in the evening. I have learned that sleep must be taken when it is given. My being knows nothing of the normal ways of people. Therefore I take advantage of those moments when sleep comes easily without consideration for the possible ramifications. Perhaps if I had avoided that bit of rest earlier I would have easily slept tonight. It is unlikely, though. My times of insomnia are not usually cured by forced sleeping patterns. Instead, I find myself laying in bed all night with my thoughts raging in my mind when I try to force my body to adapt to the demands of a sleeping routine.
My lack of sleep often causes disturbances in my household. My dear husband is an early riser who prefers to go to sleep very early in the evening. My tendencies to be up throughout the night are often difficult for him because he misses me during the night. He often wanders out of our room, bleary eyed and half asleep, just to be sure I am okay. Sometimes, when I've fallen asleep on the sofa, he will turn out the lights and pull the covers around me to be sure I am comfortably warm. I try to warn him before he is asleep if I know that my night will be sleepless. If he knows that I will be up late, he tends to sleep better and worry less.
If my own sleeplessness were not enough to maintain the disorder and chaos in our lives, our youngest child also struggles with the desire to stay awake and the need to sleep. She, too, is a night owl like her mother. There are many nights that she tosses and turns in the bed, trying to find a comfortable position or trying to settle her restless thoughts so that she can sleep. (She inherited her ability to flip across the entire bed in 2 seconds flat from her father. I use to think he was the world's worst for flopping in the bed. He's now 2nd on that list... Marisa has him beat by a country mile.)
Now everybody in the house is sleeping soundly while I sit up and write. I may cook a proper breakfast for everybody today. I usually only cook a big breakfast for them on days like this when I have already been up all night. I don't do early mornings, but late nights are a completely different story. I'm not the least bit groggy or grumpy or irritable when I've been up really late like tonight. I'll eventually go to sleep - usually around 6:00 or 7:00 - and sleep for a few hours while Daddy keeps up with the wee beasties. Perhaps if I serve them all a gracious breakfast they will enjoy their day better and let me sleep all through the morning and into the afternoon... (after church, that is)
Posted by Mom at 5:00 AM
September 24, 2009
There are a lot of things changing around here. The leaves are changing now. The weather is changing. The time has come for a few personal changes.
I'm doing a great deal of cleaning and purging. Many of the things that we just don't need are getting disposed of, given away, sold, or just tossed in the junk bin.
Along with the personal household changes, I'm making a few changes to my websites, too. If you are a regular visitor, you may notice right away that some things have changed.
The Entrecard drop box has been moved down a ways. If you're a user of Entrecard, then you may be aware the new owners of Entrecard have decided to start showing 'sponsored ads' on the Entrecard box. Due to the fact that the owner is not going to allow blog owners to decide what ads will be shown, I have decided that it is necessary for the integrity of all of my sites to move that box lower on my page.
For now I will continue to use Entrecard because I feel it is a very good asset to my sites. However, if the ads that are pushed through are not acceptable then I discontinue my association with that system completely.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to my visitors and advertisers.
Posted by Mom at 11:35 AM
September 21, 2009
I woke up way too early this morning at the insistence of the little people. I have no idea why they decided to get up so early.
And today's forecast --- Rain and Thunderstorms all day long... AGAIN!!!
Thank you, Lord, for giving us the rain that we so desperately needed. (But did you have to give it to us all at once????)
Posted by Mom at 7:25 AM
September 16, 2009
The weather here has been particularly dreary and rainy lately. As a result of all the moisture, we have mushrooms. I can walk through my yard and easily find a half a dozen different species of mushrooms. It would be quite nice if they were edible and I could harvest them for dinner. Perhaps I will go on a photo safari and take pictures of all the different mushrooms I find. I've been thinking of doing that for a couple of weeks now. I just haven't gotten around to it. I bet the girls would gladly join me for such a trip.
I'm still fascinated by the creation of something as simple as a mushroom. What purpose does the mushroom hold within the world? They come so quickly and fade away just as fast. Most people view them as a pest of the yard, an intruder that mars the beautiful landscape. I don't see them this way, though. I think they are beautiful. I love how they can cover the ground overnight without any warning. I love the variety and the colors. I was told by my daughter that her and her Daddy saw a bright orange mushroom in the woods over the weekend. I haven't seen one that's bright orange, yet. Our yard just has some of the basic white, grey, and brown 'shrooms.
I enjoy finding beauty in something that others see only as an ugly imperfection. It's far easier than you might think to see the beauty in the world around you.
Posted by Mom at 5:28 PM
September 9, 2009
There's nothing like having a week without sleep to help you realize just how important sleep is for one's ability to function.
I am thankful that with the help of a bit of honey, I managed to get some sleep last night. My little girls have both been sick for a week, and none of the cough medicine was helping. It occurred to me that honey would be a good idea. I'm not real sure where the thought came from - perhaps a silent nudge from the powers that be - but I did recall reading a while back that honey was good for soothing a raw throat. It worked. Thank God, it worked. I desperately needed to sleep. Yes, I know that the girls both needed to sleep, too, but I was getting to be in poor shape from my lack of rest. It's very difficult to continue to take care of everybody who needs me to care for them when I'm not getting any sleep.
So today I am grateful that sleep was accomplished last night. I'm also grateful that at least one of my girls seems to be almost back to normal. Perhaps in a few more days we will all be past this phase of perpetual sickness. With any luck, I won't catch any of their germs...
Posted by Mom at 12:00 PM
September 6, 2009
This week has been one hectic bit of time. First, Marisa got sick. As she is beginning to get better, now her big sister is sick. Not only is Kira sick, but she's more sick than Marisa was. Kira even makes a point to let me know that she is more pitiful and more sick than Marisa was. Even in sickness there is sibling competition. I find that to be quite amusing that the oldest wishes to be more sick than the youngest.
I was very blessed today when I had to get out of bed. My husband would have been spending the day in Atlanta today, but instead he decided to stay home with me because the girls are both sick. I would never have asked him to skip his plans since he was going to Dragon Con, and that is only once a year. He decided on his own, though, that he couldn't leave me home with two sick girls. He gets big kudos for that. I'm very glad that he didn't leave me to do it on my own, though I would have managed just fine. It's much easier with a bit of moral and physical support.
On a lighter note, I'm getting a whole bunch of hugs and snuggles from my girls. It seems that when they aren't feeling well they tend to want much more attention.
Posted by Mom at 9:57 AM
August 22, 2009
Well, we missed the art show last weekend because I was so sick. Luckily, the show is also today and next weekend. I'm feeling better, so we will be headed out to Atlanta for a few hours today. I know the kids will enjoy the experience. Hopefully it will be adult friendly, too. I'm hoping my teenager will decide to come with us.
It's good to feel better. I have so much to do now because the last week was fairly useless. I didn't accomplish much at all this past week. Come to think of it, I didn't accomplish anything at all beyond getting out of bed.
Today, though, will be a good day.
Posted by Mom at 9:09 AM
August 19, 2009
I am thankful for the accidental discovery of penicillin.
I am slowly recovering.
I am also thankful for my wonderful husband and his step-mother, both who have helped me tremendously the last few days as I've battled this horrible sickness. (His mother is usually also very helpful, but is currently out of town.)
I am also thankful for my bed, which is currently beckoning to me...
Posted by Mom at 5:46 PM
August 16, 2009
I have strep.
Luckily, I have Randall. He got me ice cream. He took me to the doctor. He kept the kids away.
Back to bed for me.
Posted by Mom at 10:01 PM
August 12, 2009
Sadness. Darkness. Overwhelming. Bearing down. Crashing in. Smothering. Heavy. Pain. Weeping. Irrational. Fear. Panic. Worry. Lonely. Distant. Solitude. Failure. Despair.
These are the feelings and thoughts that I battle frequently.
The pills help - Lord knows they really, really help - but some days the sickness gets the best of me. Some days, when the world seems to be against me, the tears come no matter how hard I fight. Even with all the wonderful blessings I have, there are days when everything is dark and heavy and - yes - irrational.
Here, in the dark, when everyone is asleep, I can cry freely without concern for giving explanations that there really is no reason for the tears. There are few who would understand.
Posted by Mom at 9:33 PM
August 8, 2009
I'm spending a few days out in the woods for a much needed break from responsibilities. You may wonder how I can be visiting with you while I'm out here in the forest. Well, there is a lodge at Unicoi State Park with free wireless Internet access. My husband and I are taking advantage of the lodge for a bit of relaxing television and playing on the computer.
I've found this short trip to be very relaxing. Things have been overly chaotic in my world over the past few months. Being out in the woods helps me reconnect with my own inner peace.
We love camping in a tent out in the woods with few people around. I would be okay with camping out in the middle of nowhere if my physical abilities would allow me to hike more than a few feet. As it is, we do what is called "walk-in camping" where we park relatively close to the campsite and walk from the car to the site. We're also relatively close to the comfort stations. The showers here provide hot water and a clean spot to get clean.
We have camped in various places, but I find that the State Parks are often the best options for camping. The facilities are typically in good shape and clean. The staff is friendly. The campsites are well maintained. There really is little chance of being disappointed when you choose to camp at one of Georgia's State Parks. (The same is not always true for other states. We've camped at State Parks in a nearby state and found the facilities to be sorely lacking.)
Yesterday we visited nearby Helen, Ga for a bit of wandering and sight seeing. I always enjoy walking through the various shops that can be found in Helen. There are so many different things to see here. I no longer feel the need to buy the wares, though, because we've visited so many times that there is little that is new to me. My husband is very grateful for this shift in attitude because his wallet gets to stay in his pocket for the majority of the trip. The only thing I ever really want in Helen is a luscious chocolate covered strawberry or four.
Well, while we were in town yesterday, we decided to take a trip down the river on a tube. There's a company here called Cool River Tubing. I've traveled down the river more than once on an inner tube. This wasn't really a new experience for me. It's an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours, though. Unfortunately, less than halfway through our trip down the river I began to feel nauseated. The heat was not terribly oppressive, so I'm still at a loss as to what caused my ill feelings. When we reached the bridge in Helen, we made our way to the shore and up to the main road. My husband left me in town to go get the car. While I waited for him to return, I had an opportunity to observe a wasp sitting on some nearby flowers. I guess I never stopped to consider just how beautiful wasps can be. This particular wasp was busy preening and cleaning his wings. It was a fascinating process to observe.
Even though I began to feel ill yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed my day out. Today has been even better because I've done little more than laze around doing crossword puzzles and reading some of the documents that I collected at the home school convention. I've managed to reduce my collection significantly, which is definitely saying something. I've been spending time just letting my mind go instead of trying to dictate my thought processes. It's nice to have that luxury even if it is only for a few days. Perhaps when I return to reality tomorrow I will be able to contain some of this calmness that has enveloped me. I sure hope so.
Posted by Mom at 3:33 PM
August 6, 2009
The past few days have been incredibly insane. My best friend had twins via C-Section on Saturday. I got to meet the parents of the twins on Sunday. (My friend was a gestational surrogate.) My friend Toni flew in from Canada on Monday. I spent Monday and Tuesday evening with her after spending part of the day at the hospital each day. I took my friend home from the hospital yesterday. The drive was horribly long.
Today we are leaving for a four day camping trip. NOTHING is packed. NOTHING is prepared. SIGH!!!
Oh well. I'm taking my time and not getting riled up over the lack of preparation. We usually have all this done a few days in advance. The week has been too hectic for me to get anything together. It's all good, though.
This is a much needed vacation. We're leaving the girls behind to go enjoy a few days alone to celebrate our anniversary that came around earlier this week. I'll be back on Monday.
Posted by Mom at 9:42 AM
July 28, 2009
I didn't sleep well last night. It was another late night for me. I finally managed to drift off to sleep around 4:00 this morning. The girls woke me just before 8:00. Just before Kira came up to the bed, I was having the most interesting dream. I can't really explain the entire situation in my dream, but I spent a good bit of time floating instead of walking.
There were crowds of people around me, as though I were there entertainer. I could clearly see those people who were harmful to me. I easily withdrew those people from the crowd and removed them from my presence in a way that was not angry or harsh, only final.
I am very tired today. It feels as though I spent the entire bit of sleep working through this scenario of being above the crowds and seeing the harmful entities. Yet I'm also strangely light today. I can't say that I feel refreshed. I could really use a few more hours of sleep.
I can still call up memories of last night's dream. I know I could spend hours analyzing just what it means. My brain isn't quite functioning today, though, so I have to leave this to fading memories and impressions.
Posted by Mom at 9:21 AM
July 27, 2009
This next week is going to be such an exciting time for me. I have so much going on.
First, I get to see my daughter and grandson tomorrow. It's a long drive, but I enjoy spending time with them so it is worth it.
This weekend is the South East Homeschool Expo. I'm going on Friday and Saturday. My mother-in-law is coming with me. My husband is not terribly interested in the chaos of conventions, so I invited his mom to come along instead. I've perused the class schedules and decided which sessions I want to sit in on and which speakers I plan to hit up for their class notes because I was unable to attend their session. What I'm really excited about, though, is the exhibits. All these companies come and set up booths with their products and services represented. Most of them give away FREE stuff. That's what I'm really all excited about. Of course, I've browsed the list of exhibitors and determined that there are a few that I want to learn more about. This is my very first home school convention, but I know that the key to success is having a plan and not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and events.
I can't leave it at the convention, though. My fun and excitement carries into next week, too. My friend Toni is coming to town on Monday and staying for three whole days. Granted, she has to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I'm picking her up at the airport on Monday and spending the evening with her. Then I'll be spending Tuesday evening with her, too. She'll get to spend time with me and my girls. I met Toni through blogging. She was one of my very first readers. She even trusted me enough to allow me to help her set up some of the things on her website, The Mind of a Mom. Well, it was at a different location back then... but still. I've got to cover my car in American flags so she'll know how to find me since we've never actually met in person. (Yes, Toni, I'm really going to have flags on my car... I promise...)
You might think that my fun stops when I return Toni to the airport on Wednesday. (at least I think I'm taking her back to the airport...)
Oh no!!! Not at all.
You see, Tuesday is our 6th wedding anniversary. Six long years of being married... (really - it has been six years since we said our vows - honest.) It's amazing to me to stop and think that we've really been married that long. It doesn't seem as though it could be possible. I have children to prove that it has, indeed, been a length of time. It doesn't feel like it, though. Randall and I have been together for eleven years already and married for six of those years. WOW!!!
(Don't worry, Toni. He's in court all week next week so he won't even get home until nearly 8:00 each night because he goes for a run after work.)
All that was to bring you to the weekend following my dear friend's departure.
Randall and I are going camping. We leave Thursday morning to head to the North Georgia mountains WITHOUT the girls.
YUP!!! Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday --- just us in a tent in the woods. Yippee!!!
The next two weeks are going to be so awesome!!!
Posted by Mom at 12:08 AM
July 19, 2009
My thoughts today have been focused on a conversation I had with a lady a few weeks ago regarding the topic of church. It's an odd moment of contemplation that just seems to be stuck with me for some reason.
A few months ago, my husband and I found a church that we absolutely love. This in itself is a miracle, as we had both grown weary of the process of "going to church" and dealing with "church people." We visited this church in hopes to find a place where our children could interact with their peers. What we found was a family that took us in and wrapped us in a warmth and kindness that neither of us has ever experienced within a church organization before.
A few weeks back, I met this lady at DAC Kids and started talking to her about our great discovery of a church family that truly does care about each other and the world around them. One of her main concerns was the atmosphere of the service. I explained to her that our church is very casual with their attire and worship. The focus is on the family, the learning, and the worship. There is little concern for what those in attendance may be wearing (as long as they are actually dressed). I explained that we even encourage having a cup of coffee and eating doughnuts, as though you were visiting with a dear friend. In fact, there's a committee that provides the doughnuts and coffee for everybody. (There weren't any chocolate doughnuts this morning. That was VERY disappointing...)
Her response to this was that she and her husband felt like there needed to be some level of reverence within a worship service. Our church's approach was probably far too casual for her tastes.
I could never fault her for her preferences with regard to this aspect of worship, but today I've had this thought of reverence stuck in my head. Mind you, this conversation took place several weeks ago, and just now the idea of maintaining a certain level of reverence within the church building has embedded itself into my brain. I decided to define this word for my own personal education.
1) a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe
2) the outward manifestation of this feeling
3) a gesture indicative of deep respect
1) to regard or treat with reverence
RESPECT: (there are a LOT of different definitions for this word, so I'll just list those that are intended as verb usage because that's what fits.)
1) to hold in esteem or honor
2) to show regard or consideration for
3) to refrain from intruding on or inerfering with
4) to relate or have reference to
This lady explained to me that she felt there should be a certain level reverence in the place of worship. To her, this reverance would manifest in a state of dress and behavior. She held a specific vision for how the time spent inside the walls of the church was supposed to be spent. This is not terribly uncommon. Many people feel that they must dress a certain way and behave a certain way when attending church. I'm not in disagreement with the concept of dressing up for church or maintaining a certain level of decorum for worship service. I simply prefer a more casual approach. This isn't about being right or wrong.
Here's where my thoughts have been wandering today with relation to reverence and decorum within the church building.
I am the church.
If what I wear to the service within the walls of the building is of importance, should I also be expected to adhere to this same attire when I am outside the walls of the church? After all, if God is concerned with my state of dress for two hours on Sunday, is He not also concerned with my state of dress for the other hours when I am not inside the church building?
Is it better for me to stay home in pants and a t-shirt instead of degrading the sanctity of the church building with my inappropriate attire? What does reverence and respect have to do with my clothing?
It seems to me that the only concern for what I wear would come from other people, not from God. Certainly God would prefer me to spend time with his people, within a family that will hold me up when I am too tired to carry on.
I am the church.
If I am to lower my voice within the confines of the church and speak softly in order to show respect for God, then shall I always maintain a lowered voice and soft speech? Where, then, shall I lift my voice in praise and raise a joyful noise?
I am the church.
The church is not a building. This is something I've known for many years.
God sees what I choose to wear every day. If He is not offended by my choice of clothing on Monday, then why would He be offended by my choice of clothing on Sunday?
God hears how I speak. If He is not offended by my tone of voice on Monday, then why would He be offended by my tone of voice on Sunday?
If God is unconcerned with these minor details, why should anybody else be bothered by what I wear or how I choose to worship? (As Pastor Howard would say... "Who gives a rip...")
I still come back to this thought of reverence.
I definitely stand in awe of God and His wonders. Small miracles surround me every day, and I wonder sometimes why He would even take the time to attend to such minor issues.
The not-so-silent plea from a 4 year old child, wishing with all her heart that just one tiny little butterfly would find her worthy enough to serve as a momentary perch was blessed with two butterflies.
The first butterfly was a bit of a surprise because it lit on Kira's arm when she had finally given up on ever having a butterfly land on her. Luckily, it stuck around long enough for a bit of a photo shoot.
The second butterfly seemed to be so completely enamored with Kira that it took my breath away. This Blue Morpho butterfly crawled around on Kira's arm for more than ten minutes. The creature was never even startled with the fidgety movements of my little girl.
There was no other explanation except that God sent this butterfly to bless my child and answer her heart's prayer for a touch of magic.
In that brief span of time, as Iwatched my child interact with this beautiful butterfly, I experienced more awe and respect for the power of God than I have ever felt inside the walls of the church building.
The building is, indeed, just a building in which the power and glory of God is not confined.
Posted by Mom at 5:55 PM
July 14, 2009
I'm at it again. I managed to get to the insurance office. Now that I'm back home, I've laid the little monsters (ahem - sweet angels) in my bed in hopes of a nap. Seriously, they are both so grumpy today that they NEED a nap.
Well, while I force a bit of rest upon them, I have hooked up the DDR again. Today's endeavors have been far more successful. I've managed to complete the first 3 sections of the first lesson without really hurting. I stopped to take some Tylenol as a precautionary measure in hopes of enduring the trauma for a bit longer than would otherwise be possible. I just felt the need to report that even after just one session I'm already feeling stronger. My stamina is definitely better today than it was yesterday.
I'll continue to use the Lessons as a way to track my progress. Eventually, when I feel like I can handle more, I will move on and play the training mode or the game mode. For now, though, I am content to practice with the lessons and let my muscles remember how they are supposed to work.
Posted by Mom at 1:12 PM
I am so tired today. I need to drive to the insurance office to pay our insurance bill. I just don't want to take the time to do that. I don't really have a choice, as the bill has to be paid today, but it's such a hassle to pack the kids up and drive to the office - get them all out of the car and take them in - pack them into the car again and bring them back home. It's tedious. It's irritating. Maybe I'll call and pay over the phone instead. I don't like doing it that way, but perhaps...
Posted by Mom at 9:31 AM
July 13, 2009
I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea. I tried it once at a teen party that we were having for our church youth group and decided that I really needed to buy one for myself. Now that I have it, all I can say is this:
OW! OW! OW! OW!
With that being said, I still think it was probably a good idea. After all, I'm seriously out of shape and this might help me be motivated to get my act together.
My DDR Max came today!!!
For those that don't know, that's Dance Dance Revolution Max. This promises to provide me with a really good workout - if I can ever manage to endure more than five minutes worth of practice.
What WAS I thinking???
Posted by Mom at 9:04 PM
July 10, 2009
Well, I've survived the 15th birthday. Gibson, of course, seems terribly unconcerned about this particular milestone in his life. I have found myself remembering where I was in my own life fifteen years ago when Gibson was just making his way into this world. (I'm so glad I never had to repeat that weekend...)
Posted by Mom at 10:57 PM
July 3, 2009
I'm feeling very sad and alone right now. Usually I'm okay being alone. Usually I desire a few moments to be alone. Right now though, I am unhappy with my aloneness. My family is out of the country for a wedding that I was unable to attend due to the expense. My husband, his mother, and his stepmother have all gone to attend his brother's wedding. They left on Monday and will return on Sunday. I've handled this all pretty well until today. Today I am sad. I miss my family. I miss my husband. I often take for granted just how much I depend on his presence to keep me calm and sane. I sometimes forget that he is my anchor in a crazed world that demands far too much of me. Right now I just want him to be here with me so I won't have to be so alone.
I'm not real sure why the sadness has hit me so hard today. Perhaps it is because I am so tired from the demands from the girls. Usually there is somebody here to lean on when I feel overwhelmed by their neediness. When my husband is working, his mother and stepmother are always nearby to lend a hand. I don't usually spend so many consecutive days with both the girls. They typically have dates with one Grandma or the other, leaving me with a bit of time to recharge. Right now my emotional and physical stores are completely depleted.
I look forward to Sunday evening when they all come back home to me. I know the girls will be pleased, too.
Posted by Mom at 10:40 PM
July 1, 2009
Today is the first day of July.
Can somebody please tell me how this happened?
[Glitterfy.com - *Glitter Words*]
Posted by Mom at 12:28 PM
June 30, 2009
I stumbled across this today and want to save it and see if it works. I don't want to lose it, so I'm posting it here.
When leaving a comment, you will be redirected to a blogger default page.
Please leave this window open if you want to use emoticons in your post!
Copy and paste the text code of the emoticon you wish to use into your post.
|:x :X :-x :-X|
|:o :O :-o :-O|
|:p :P :-p:-P|
Posted by Mom at 10:19 AM
June 29, 2009
I am so excited. I just bought a DDR game pack from Ebay for considerably less than it would have cost me to get this from the store. Of course the price is not what I'm all excited about.
There was a sleepover for our teen youth group this past weekend, and one of the girls brought her DDR.
OH. MY. GOSH.
This game is so much fun. Well - I should qualify that. This game will be so much fun when I can build up my endurance and get good at doing the moves. Seriously, I am so out of shape that it isn't even funny. I need to lose weight in a big way and nothing has been working. I'm hoping this new game will help with my weight loss goals because I know I will enjoy playing the game so I will be getting a lot of extra exercise.
At any rate, I can not wait to get my new game and start practicing. After all, there will be other sleepovers, and I absolutely MUST redeem myself from the complete and total humiliation that I suffered at the hands of this game.
I. WILL. CONQUER. THE. DANCE. GAME.
Posted by Mom at 10:17 AM
June 24, 2009
As I wander through my days, I try hard to find at least a slight bit of joy in each bit of my life. There are certain things that I know will always bring me a touch of happiness. If I'm feeling particularly down on any given day, I know these things will brighten my world - if only for a moment. I thought I would share my list of simple pleasures. We all have a list such as this. Sometimes we just have to stop and recall what that list is.
Here is part of my list.
Giggles from my girls
A vase full of daisies
Chocolate chip ice cream - Mayfield...
Hugs from the special people in my life
Clear blue skies
A good book
Watching the birds nibble from our bird feeders
Doing something unexpected to make somebody else smile
Talking with a good friend
Petting my cats
Waking up with a little bundle of snuggly baby girls piled around me
Walking in the sunshine
A good kiss
Posted by Mom at 12:22 PM
June 23, 2009
I'm about to begin a pretty intensive task of repainting the walls inside the house. I already painted the bathroom, though there are quite a few finishing touches that need to be done in there. I have all the paint purchased for the job. I have all the supplies. Now I just have to get motivated.
I'm planning to let the girls help me with the first coat of paint on the wall. I know they'll have so much fun, but I'm still a bit daunted by the possible mess.
Oh well... such is the way of the world.
Posted by Mom at 11:59 AM
June 21, 2009
June 20, 2009
I saw on the TV today that there is a special one hour long episode scheduled for the Jon and Kate show. It seems that they have made some life altering decisions that the world needs to know about.
Now, call me a skeptic, but this reeks of publicity stunt.
I'm going to make a prediction. I predict that they are about to announce a trial separation due to the recent marital problems they've been having. They need a full hour to tell us about this trial separation and how they will deal with that as far as the children are concerned.
I will further predict that by the end of this season that they will announce a phenomenal reconciliation with the help of counseling and public support.
Who's with me on this one?
(Please note that I will not be watching the show. I'm sure I'll get the updated information via the world wide web, though. I predict that the news will be plastered over the entire Internet within minutes of the end of that special show.)
Posted by Mom at 9:16 PM
June 19, 2009
I'm sitting her today watching a bit of TV at a friend's house. My friend is out of town, and I'm hanging out with her dogs, so I get the reign of the TV. It's wonderful.
Right now I'm watching this really cool show called Clean House. In the episode I'm watching, one of the guys used the word 'clutterectomy.'
I'm in love with this show now. I have to tell you, my house tends to be a bit cluttered and could really use a big clutterectomy. The show is giving a lot of great ideas. It's also giving me a lot of reassurance that my clutter really isn't all that bad. TRUST ME!!! Some of these houses that this show goes in to clean up --- they're BAD!!!
It makes me wonder how seemingly normal people live that type of lifestyle. Just wow!!!
Posted by Mom at 4:32 PM
Take note of my new little gadget over on the sidebar!!!
Well, to make it a bit easier to find, I'm going to put it in this post, too. I'm nice like that.
A few of my lucky readers are already aware of my crafty nature. Now the rest of you can check my stuff out, too.
Posted by Mom at 2:53 PM
June 15, 2009
Sometimes you just have to slow down a bit. I went to the hardware store today to buy some paint, and Marisa came along with me. We wandered the store aimlessly for quite a while. Marisa discovered the display bathtubs and found it quite amusing to climb into them and play. Then she discovered the maze of doors and windows. There's something about mazes that attracts children. We wandered through those doors and windows for a while - Marisa insisting on opening this door or that.
When we were finally ready to leave, there was to be no rushing out for me. Marisa became entranced by the automatic doors. She stood and opened the door then closed the door repeatedly - complete with mystical hand motions to go along with the opening and closing of the door. She spent about five minutes doing this. She was quite convinced that her hand motions were the magic that was being used to open and close that door.
I suppose I could have rushed her along, hurried on my way without letting her have her fun. After all, I had no idea exactly how long she would play her magic game. I was beginning to get a bit impatient when she turned away from the door and walked towards me exclaiming that she was all done.
It only took about five minutes of my time, so in the end it was well worth it. That moment of magic would've been completely lost if I had forced her to operate on adult time instead of adjusting my own thoughts to operate on toddler time.
Posted by Mom at 6:20 PM
June 11, 2009
I'm really enjoying the television this week. I'm house sitting for a friend, so I have free reign of her big screen TV. The thing is, we don't have TV at my house. We have a television with a DVD / VHS player, but no cable or dish reception. To be honest, it makes life so much easier to live without television. However, there are certain shows that I thoroughly enjoy watching. All the crime shows are on my favorites list. These past few days I have immersed myself in crime TV. It's been great.
This immersion of television, though, has also come with commercials. I have to say that I have not missed commercials at all. They're just silly. I wonder what the creators of these commercials must have been thinking when they came up with these lame ideas for selling something to the general public. It's just sad. Commercials used to be fun and creative. Now they're just pretty lame. They don't make me want to rush out and buy whatever random product is being sold.
Posted by Mom at 8:03 AM
June 6, 2009
I keep seeing all the tabloids, commercials and blog posts regarding the reality show, Jon & Kate Plus 8.
Tonight I got to see the commercial about the next episode with Emeril Lagasse as a guest.
Am I the only person who thinks that all the tabloid photos and rumors of impending divorce is just part of a scripted publicity stunt to maintain and increase public interest in this family.
After seeing the comment about Jon and his female friends, it was just suddenly so clear that all this was part of the grander plan concocted be directors who want to guarantee that the whole world will be watching as the family implodes. Well - the whole world minus ME! I'm so not interested.
Tell me what you think...
Posted by Mom at 9:17 PM
June 4, 2009
I feel as though I've ripped my soul out and impressed it upon the paper on which I type. Writing is not such an easy thing to do when you invest yourself into your work. My current project is one that I am very passionate about. I find myself filled with a driving need to get the words on paper and not nearly enough time and energy to do so properly. There is a great deal of research and consideration that must go into this new project of mine. (I'll tell you about it later when I'm closer to being finished.)
It's just not easy to pour yourself into something without having the certainty that others will appreciate the value of the work that you're soul has produced. I'm sure that it would be so much easier to simply give up and tell myself that it wasn't meant to be.
Much more satisfying to continue on the journey and arrive at a desirable destination...
Posted by Mom at 9:10 PM
June 3, 2009
I am so tired right now. There is so much going on.
My poor kitty cat got hurt and had to be taken to the vet yesterday. We thought she had cut herself on something, and the cut had gotten infected. Turns out that her injury was most likely caused by a spider bite. I'll spare you the gory details, but hope that your animals don't get bitten by a spider. It is not pleasant.
No I have to tend to the needs of the kitty in addition to all my other responsibilities. I have to give her pain medicine and antibiotics. If you've never tried to medicate a cat - it is NOT an easy thing to do. I also have to clean the surgical incisions and apply heat to the area 2 to 3 times a day. Again - not exactly an easy thing to do. She's not very partial to having a wet washcloth applied to her. Cats do not particularly enjoy being wet. Add that to the fact that the area is rather tender. It's just not an easy time. Sometimes I think God has far more faith in my abilities than I do.
Everything seems to be going fairly well these days, though. Certain areas are starting to improve rather dramatically. That's a good thing. Perhaps as those areas continue to improve, the improvements will spread into other areas.
Hopefully somewhere in there I will get to rest. I could use a good bit of rest...
Posted by Mom at 6:31 PM
The biggest regrets of life are things not done, people not loved, words not said.
You may think you regret the things you've said or done, or the love you've given, yet looking back over time it is what you failed to do or say or the love you kept hidden that you regret the most.
As in most lessons, I learned this one the hard way.
Posted by Mom at 9:08 AM
June 1, 2009
Today was the day that our church canceled all normal meetings for the purpose of going out into the world and putting our faith in God in action by giving of ourselves to help meet the needs of others. The church chose 6 different locations that had a real need for work to be done.
I chose to join a group that would be working at a local group home for foster children. There was a ton of work to do and a ton of people there to work. I knew before I even arrived that I would be painting walls. Working outside was not an option for me. Let the others plant flowers, cut grass, and carry logs. I will paint walls.
There were lots of walls to be painted.
Luckily, there were lots of people who, just like me, love to paint walls.
There were 6 bedrooms plus one common room that needed to be painted. Space did not really allow for the furniture in the rooms to be removed. The rooms were fairly tiny, so maneuvering around the furniture was pretty darn amusing. In the end, though, the rooms were all painted. The job was not nearly as good as it could have been had there been more time for completing the project. In truth, we needed 2 to 3 days in order to do it right. The walls needed to be scraped and washed before they were painted. There just wasn't enough hours in the day for that to be done. Instead we scraped off the tape and other random bits of stuff that kids like to stick onto the walls. Then we commenced the painting.
Honestly, with so many people trying to coordinate to accomplish a single goal, I was impressed that things went as smoothly as they did. Everybody found a job to do and got busy. It was awesome.
In the end, I had to leave before all the rooms were finished. They were "mostly" finished before I left. Each room was in its own degree of completion, and painters were diligently applying themselves - and their brushes - to the task of getting those walls covered. I was sorry to have to leave early, but the migraine was on its way. There's a time limit from the start of that headache to the time that I need to medicate myself in order to prevent complete and total misery from descending upon me for hours. So I left in search of medication and a bed to lay down and rest upon.
I have no doubt that in my absence the rooms still managed to get completely and properly painted. I just wish I could go back tomorrow and see how it looks with everything finished.
Mostly, though, I just thoroughly enjoyed the day. This is how the world should be.
Posted by Mom at 12:05 AM
May 30, 2009
Today I would like to say that I am thankful for many things.
I am thankful that my children are healthy and strong.
I am thankful for morning hugs and kisses from two little girls.
I am thankful that there is food in our house, even if it isn't always what we "want" to eat.
I am thankful for the gift of having my wonderful mother-in-law.
I am thankful for the extra gift of having my wonderful stepmother-in-law.
I am thankful for a supportive and caring husband.
I am thankful for sweet tea. It may seem simple, but I enjoy my sweet tea.
I am thankful for the rain. I may get tired of seeing the rain, but I am glad that there is rain to see.
I am thankful for the library. That place saves me a lot of money.
I am thankful for my cats. I love them very much.
I am thankful for my true friends. They carry me through my difficult days.
I am thankful for my television and my extensive collection of childrens movies. They buy me a bit of sanity.
I am thankful for my readers and comments.
Posted by Mom at 9:14 AM
May 27, 2009
It used to be that one might say "Stop and smell the roses." Not here in the forest, though. Roses don't really grow very easily in the forest. The canopy of the trees tend to block out a lot of the direct sunlight.
The lizards do roam free here, though. Sometimes they even decide to roam into the relative non-safety of my house. They should know better, seeing as how there are 3 cats in here, but apparently not.
Yesterday I was getting the girls ready to leave. The youngest passed by the Hydrangea bush right outside the door and stopped moving. I was already at the car, so I had no idea what was going on. Her Grandma Janet was with her so I didn't really worry about it. As they came to the car, Janet informed me that there were two lizards hanging out on our bush and Risa absolutely had to stop and visit them. Toddler Time has no concept of appointments or deadlines or clocks.
I had to run back into the house to get some things I forgot, so I stopped to check out the lizards, too. Well, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to share this with Kira. She was already buckled into her car seat, but I insisted that she needed to get out of the car and come back to the house. We all held a little mini party standing in front of the bush watching those lizards. We took about ten minutes out of our day to just stop and watch the lizards do what lizards do. It was interesting.
I suppose I could have gotten frustrated that I was running late, but I would have lost a great deal of enjoyment. It's much more fun to operate on Toddler Time than Adult Time.
Posted by Mom at 3:15 PM
May 24, 2009
Did you know that every day is a holiday? For example, today is 'Read in the Bathtub Day'. I suppose to observe this holiday we are supposed to hang out in the bath with books and read all day. I sure would love to be able to do such a thing.
Friday, Feb 13th, is 'Blame Someone Else Day'.
Feb 21st is 'Clam Chowder Day'.
Who knew that every single day was a holiday to be celebrated?
If you want to know more about daily holidays, you can check out this website.
Today I am going to celebrate 70 degree weather in February by taking my monsters (ahem - adorable angels) outside to play in the yard and do some much needed outside work.
Posted by Mom at 10:12 PM
May 22, 2009
I'm up late tonight. I can't sleep, so I've been playing on the Internet. Here are a few quotes that I came across while enduring this particular night of insomnia. I can't really give you references because I can't recall exactly where they all came from. There were many different sites that I visited tonight.
I hope reading these quotes will bring a smile to your heart today.
It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship
and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual
affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it
will not be created for years or even generations.
~ Khalil Gibran ~
" I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
in life after life, in age after age forever."
"Love: The irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."
Sometimes your nearness takes my breath away; And all the things I want to say can find no voice.
Within the dark shadows of my heart, The torch’s glow reveals your face. Within the dungeon of my soul, the corridors echo with your laughter. Within the castle walls of my resolve, your tender caress sets them ablaze. Within the misty forest of my memories, your soft wet kisses call my name. Within my daydreams of tomorrow, we sleep in each other’s arms. And within my wildest wishes, you claim me to be yours
Posted by Mom at 12:52 AM
May 21, 2009
I have a migraine. My head hurts. It's not fair.
I just wanted to complain for a bit.
Carry on with your regularly scheduled lives now.
Posted by Mom at 8:47 PM
May 20, 2009
Back when I was in High School, I made a list of quotes that I really loved. I stumbled across that list a while back and just want to share a few of these.
I will say this: I have no idea who said these things first. I was pretty young when I wrote this list and never considered writing down the speakers' names. So if you recognize the quote as coming from a specific person, please know that it is not my intent to leave out the credits - I just don't have the credits.
The right way to kill time is to work it to death.
Live every day as if it were the last.
Good manners are made of petty sacrifices.
Everything comes to those who hustle while they wait.
An effort a day keeps failure away.
Have you tried out your smile today?
The art of memory is the art of attention.
The best way to get even is to forget.
Are you a stumbling block or a stepping stone?
Speech is great, but silence is greater.
Checkbook: A book with an unhappy ending.
Desk: A wastebasket with drawers.
Ideas are funny - they don't work unless you do.
The best evidence of ability is accomplishment.
Never promise more than you can perform.
What isn't tried won't work.
Failure is the path of least persistence.
Everything starts as somebody's dream.
I hope you've enjoyed my trip down memory lane. I was about 17 or so when I wrote this list. It amazes me how much of this is still true. What amazes me more is that I - at the age of 17 - felt that these quotes were worthy of my attention.
Posted by Mom at 10:15 PM
May 19, 2009
Sometimes something as simple as having lunch with a friend can turn your entire mood around. I spent a couple of hours eating some amazing soup and chatting with a friend of mine today. That time away from reality worked wonders on my state of mind. Did I mention that the soup was really, really good? I had never eaten soup at Olive Garden before today. I highly recommend that the next time you visit there, you eat the soup. You won't be disappointed.
At any rate, I've learned over the years that good friendship is well worth the time and energy it takes to nurture the relationship. It isn't always easy to expend that energy, but it is always worth it.
If you have good friends, be sure to take some time to nurture and honor them.
Posted by Mom at 5:25 PM
May 18, 2009
There are 100 smurfs! I know this because in the episode that is currently playing, Papa Smurf counted all the smurfs. He stopped at 98 and said there were two missing.
Of these smurfs, I can name the following:
I'm sure there are about 3 or 4 others that make regular appearances, I just can't recall their names. So --- what about those other 80 or so smurfs? The village is awfully small. There are not 100 little smurfy mushroom houses. Each smurf has his own house. This makes me say HMMM!
Other interesting Smurf facts:
Gargamel created Smurfette in the very first episode. She wasn't pretty and sweet at first. She was created in a failed attempt to lure the Smurfs away from their hidden village. Papa Smurf smurfed her into a sweet, adorable Smurfette.
For such happy creatures, those Smurfs are terribly disgruntled about just about everything most of the time.
Smurfette gave up her blue to turn a white rose into a blue rose. I don't remember which episode it was in, but I do remember seeing it when I was a kid.
Posted by Mom at 10:11 PM
May 17, 2009
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
Check it out - www.servantevangelism.com
Posted by Mom at 10:07 AM
May 16, 2009
If you've ever "owed your soul to the company store", then you know what Mr. Ford was saying when he sang Sixteen Tons back in 1955. This smash hit ruled the charts for eight weeks as the #1 hit back in 1955.
Sixteen Tons is a heartfelt song about working the coal mines for low pay and going into debt to the store that was run by the company that owned the coal mine. The stores were always willing to give store credit to the families that worked for the company, but the catch for such credit was that you were indebted to the company and never managed to get ahead.
If you want a modern day example of the company stores, then you need only look at credit card companies or payday loans to see just what it might be like to "owe your soul to the company store" and never be able to escape the clutches of debt.
Posted by Mom at 10:14 PM
May 14, 2009
The first symbol, the crescent moon and star, is commonly used to represent Islam. However, the symbol was in use for thousands of years before it was ever associated with Islam. Here is what it says on About.com about these symbols: "Most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon and sky gods. There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana."
The second symbol is a peace symbol. The peace symbol was invented in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a London artist involved with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. After being used in an anti-nuclear protest, it gained popularity as a peace symbol, partly because it was easier to draw than a dove. You can read more about the origins of the peace symbol using this link.
The "e" is adorned with the symbols for male and female. According to Wikipedia, the male symbol (an arrow pointing away from a circle) is derived from the astronomical and astrological symbol for Mars.The female symbol (a cross-like symbol fixed to the bottom of a circle) is derived from the symbol of Venus. When used together, the symbols can signify intersexual or transgender. However, the designer of this sticker has told me that when he added the male and female symbols, he was trying to promote the idea of harmony between men and women. Read more about gender symbols on Wikipedia.
The next symbol is the Star of David, also known as the Shield of David. The symbol has been used since about A.D. 1000 to symbolize Judaism and the Jewish community. The symbol appears on the Israeli flag. Read more about the Star of David on Wikipedia.
The letter "i" is topped with a star within a circle. According to About.com, this is a pentacle: "The five-pointed star within a circle is the most common Pagan symbol, and it is typically used to identify oneself as a Pagan or Wiccan. The five points represent the 4 elements (Earth, air, water, fire) plus the spirit, and the circle connects them all. A five-pointed star without the circle is sometimes called a pentagram, rather than a pentacle. Based on numerology, the five points means the pentacle symbolizes the Earth element and can be used as an Earth symbol on an altar."
The letter "S" has been cleverly adapted to resemble the Taijitu, a Chinese symbol representing the idea of yin and yang from Taoist and Neo-Confucian philosophy. Yin and yang describe the two opposing but complementary forces found in nature. Yin is associated with shade and darkness as well as femininity, while yang is has associations with light and masculinity. Wikipedia describes yin and yang more fully.
The final symbol resembles a cross, which of course has come to be associated with Christianity and the crucifixion of Jesus.
Posted by Mom at 10:06 PM
May 10, 2009
My church is having a month long teaching series called "Give it Away." This video is part of the series. I saw the video for the first time this morning and found myself overwhelmed with tears. I do believe I have finally found that one church where I know I can become a part of the family.
Please take a few moments to watch this video, then find a way to create your very own ordinary miracles.
Posted by Mom at 5:03 PM
April 24, 2009
I just want to express how unfair it all is. Really, time just doesn't seem to care about how much slower I need these things to go. I'm currently faced with the real disaster of my youngest and final child's - my baby - increasing age. In just a short seven days, my dear little Risa will turn a shocking three years old.
This development is shocking to me for many reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that these past few years have gone by so quickly that I barely even remember most of them. I feel like somewhere along the line I must have fallen asleep because suddenly we're at this new stage and I don't remember how we got here. It's so sad. I'm glad to see her growing up, of course, but these days of babyhood were the last for me. There will be no more children (unless God decides to play a decidedly cruel and humorless joke on me). Given that, I'm not ready for my youngest baby to stop being a baby.
Then there's the other reason for my shock and amazement at this interesting accomplishment that Marisa is about to attain. The fact is - I'm amazed the child is still alive. She's fearless. She's impulsive. She's the one who laughs at the thunder even when it's loud enough to shake the entire house. She's the one who takes herself to Grandma's or takes herself on walks outside without bothering to even tell anybody what she's up to. She's the one who jumps off the sofa and giggles when she lands on the hard floor. She's the one who climbs as high as she can just so she might be able - if she stretches just a little farther - to touch the ceiling (or the clouds).
She's also the one who runs into the water at the lake when everybody else is running out of the water because there's a - gasp - SNAKE IN THE WATER, and the snake decided to be curious about all the people so he came close enough to shore to be seen. Yes, this happened today. My darling little girl would have gladly chased after the poor, defenseless baby snake if she had been allowed to do so. Instead we let her stand and watch the snake from a distance that was sufficient enough to keep her from drowning. (I wasn't the least bit worried about that snake. It was the deeper water that bothered me.) Unfortunately all the grown men were so afraid of the baby snake that they felt the need to frighten it away before we were able to observe it to our own content. I was very disappointed about that.
At the lake today, Marisa was walking as deep as she could to see just how far we would let her go out. My niece, Anna, was right behind her at all times so safety was not an issue. However, my little baby would just keep walking even when the water was as high as her mouth. She would keep going and going and going if Anna did not stop her. She was determined to walk across the bottom of the lake, I believe, without regard to the fact that she couldn't possibly breath under all that water.
So next Friday I will celebrate Marisa's third birthday - and stand amazed at her ability to survive this long in spite of her overwhelming tendency to disregard any potential danger in favor of leaping out to grab the thrills of life. I sincerely hope that she holds on to that tendency as she grows. Fear is often the thing that prevents us from reaching our greatest possible achievements. If she never learns to fear, perhaps she will also never learn to give up.
Posted by Mom at 11:36 PM
April 21, 2009
What is it about visiting familiar places that brings out all the emotions in me? I took my girls to see my mother today. Well, no, that isn't exactly right. I took my niece to spend the night with my mom because my niece is with me for the week and my mom wanted to see her on her days off from work. As an afterthought my mother asked me to bring my girls along for a visit, too.
That place is so haunted with memories - some are good, but most are not. I sat there on the steps watching my mother play with my kids and couldn't help but cry a bit. I found myself seeing what my life might have been like if my mother had made better choices when I was a child. I wonder sometimes if she even realizes what she gave up by turning away from her children.
Now I'm feeling a deep sadness that I can't quite explain or alleviate. "Should've beens" don't really have a place in reality, though, do they?
Posted by Mom at 3:58 PM
April 7, 2009
It snowed today. This is quite amusing. I live in Georgia where we rarely get snow in the winter. And yet here it is - April - and it was snowing.
Of course the snow didn't last very long. It was mostly just a steady spray of flurries throughout the day with nothing even pretending to stick to the cars or the ground.
But still.... Snow! In April.
Posted by Mom at 6:16 PM
April 6, 2009
I don't think I really know who I am anymore. These past few days I've come to learn more about myself than perhaps even I ever wanted to know. I've learned that one should be careful of what they vow that they will never do, say, or think because those words often come back to haunt when you find that the person you thought you were is not exactly who you really are.
I'm sure you're wondering what I'm referring to, but some secrets a woman must keep - sometimes even from herself.
It can be surprising to realize just who you really are. This true nature doesn't always coincide with the person that you know you are supposed to be. I've recently come face to face with this other self - this true nature - that I was not aware existed. I'm not disappointed or unhappy with this other self, just surprised at her existence.
My realization of this other self comes partly in the form of an apparent family crisis. You see, my father has prostate cancer. He got the diagnosis last year, followed by a flurry of tests and surgeries and ending in the assurance that the offending cancer had been completely removed. There were peripheral complications, such as the burst hemorrhoid that caused him to nearly bleed to death and required further surgery to repair. Those complications were just part of the process of dealing with the cancer. The doctors were, however, fairly confident that the cancer had been thoroughly eradicated from his body.
As often happens in cases such as these, the doctors were wrong. Less than a full year after my father had his prostate removed, his PSA numbers are starting to rise again. That's a clear indication that the cancer is not gone. He starts radiation treatments within the next week to treat, and hopefully eliminate, the cancer.
"So what's the issue?" you may ask.
Well, frankly, I just can't seem to find the capacity to care. I should care. He's my father. I should have some concern for his well being. And yet I find myself to be oddly disconnected from the ordeal that he is facing in his life. The events that brought me to this place in our relationship are rather irrelevant, but the reasons are all sensible. It's hard to expend one's energy to care for someone who has been intentionally absent from one's life for the better part of 15 years.
Even though I know and understand my feelings of unconcern, I've struggled with myself because I know what is expected and considered to be "normal" in situations such as these. I feel that I should care about what is going on in his world. Frankly, I just don't.
Well, no, that isn't exactly correct, either. I do care, but not completely. It's like meeting somebody for the first time and feeling empathetic for their situation, or having a friend of a friend who is having a hard time. That's how I feel - like somebody that I barely know just happens to be sick, and because I know them and have knowledge of their sickness then I can be sympathetic to their plight while still being well removed from the effects of what is happening. It's distant and does not directly effect me.
It's difficult to reconcile this knowledge with myself - knowing what I should be and knowing what I really am; knowing what I should feel and knowing what I really feel. The two are so completely opposite.
This, and other occurrences in my life, have led me to believe that perhaps the person I've become is not quite the person I expected that I would be. Perhaps I still have a lot to learn about myself, who I am, and who I can be.
Posted by Mom at 7:12 PM