My beautiful Family

My beautiful Family

Friday, December 9, 2011

Something missing...

There is something missing, I just don't fully know what it is yet.  I have a great life, a wonderful husband, 6 beautiful kids (who I love dearly but want to strangle on a daily basis), I do all of the background work for our electrical business, and I help with our ministry.  My days are full and sometimes don't end until way after a normal bedtime, and sometimes begin before the sun comes up.  I have a full life, but something is missing.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but something is definitely missing.
I play with my kids and clean my house (sometimes not as well as I should I admit, but sometimes the playing with my kids is way more important than my clean house, sorry that's just the way it is in my eyes, and if you don't like it, make sure to call at least a day before you plan on coming over because otherwise you are likely to find clothes piled on the couch to be put away, toys on the floor and some smooshed cereal under the table with the bowls on the table from breakfast as we are starting lunch.  But my kids are happy and loved.), I keep up with school schedules, work on homework, go to meetings and concerts, make weekly trips to the food bank for our ministry, have weekly support groups for our ministry, clean the church, and do what I can to keep our house running smoothly (as smooth as it can run considering all we do and how crazy we are).  I forget things from time to time, but nothing really important (that stuff stays on my phone calendar).  I try to return phone calls and emails, but sometimes I don't.  Sorry if I have ignored a phone call or email or message or something from you, it wasn't intentional, and if I don't get back to you within a day or so, send it again or call again, or text again.
I do all of this and say all of this to show that my life is full, but there is something missing.  I have been trying to figure it out for the past few days and I have come to the conclusion that I need to do something for me.  I am what is missing.  If you look back on what I have written in the previous paragraphs, nowhere did I say that I sit and read a book, or I take a long hot bubble bath, or that I do any projects that I like to do.  I have realized that I am missing in my life.  Beth is missing, and I need to find her.  What has replaced her is mom and wife, and Beth is calling to me trying to get me to find her.  She is lost out there in mommyhood and wifedom, she is falling deeper and deeper and she misses being here.  She misses loving her kids and her husband and all that she does.
Beth misses making things, she misses going out with her friends to lunch to laugh, to cry, to make fun of the people at the next table who don't match or have crazy hair.  She misses getting her nails done, she misses...she just misses existing.
So many times in life you get so caught up in what you are, that you forget who you are.  It is important to always remember who you are.  What makes you, you.  As a wife, it is easy to get so cought up in being a wife, always doing for your husband, making sure all of his needs are met, that you do whatever you have to do to make him happy.  Then as a mom, your whole life revolves around your children, when they get up, when they go to bed, when they do all of their firsts, making sure their needs are met.  You tend to forget that you still exist.  It is like you start to fade away and you are no longer Beth, you are mom, or wife.  Every once in a while it is time to take a step back and remember who you are.
I am Beth, I love to crochet, sew, bake, play on the computer, read books, take long baths with candles while reading and listening to music.  I love to dance all crazy around my house while I clean to music that I don't even understand because it is so loud.  I love my friends, to go out to lunch, to get my nails done.  I love to just sit and watch movies when it rains all covered up in a blanket while in my pj's. 

Who are you?  Not what are you, but who are you?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's been a while...quick update

Wow, it has been a while since I posted on here, things have been a bit crazy, we have had so much going on.  It might be a while between posts until after Christmas and things settle down in my house.  I guess it is time to catch everyone up on what has been going on.

Our ladies in our ministry have really been stepping up and helping me with everything I have had going on, they have sorted clothes for our homeless outreach (some not so appealing, long story and I was sworn to secrecy), and had a lot of fun in the process.  We sorted through so many clothes that it started to turn some people (who shall remain nameless) a little crazy

video

  


Just me and my girls, having some serious fun.


That was before our canned food and toy drive.  The ladies of our ministry stepped up and combined with a few teenagers (and some of my kids) and spent two days in the cold collecting canned food, unwrapped toys and any donations for our Angel Tree party that people wanted to give.  All in all we did great!  We raised $300 in cash, two tables full of canned food and about 20 toys for our kids that we adopt.  If anyone would like to donate or learn more about Angel Tree check it out.







We had such a great time collecting things and I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish!  While at Walmart we had a guy walk by that we stopped and told him what we were doing, and he went into Walmart and when he came back out, he stopped by us and unloaded 6 bags, 3 of name brand toys (Disney Barbies and Hot Wheels) and 3 of name brand canned food items (Del Monte green beans, corn, Ocean Spray cranberry sauce) and put the cart away, he didn't have anything for himself.  That was the greatest experience out there.

This weekend we did a homeless outreach at Unity Park in Ft. Worth, this was our second time out there in a month.  We combined with Shilo Cowboy Church, Victory Family Church and Venus Key Club.  We went for the first time and had such a great experience that we had to come back again.  There are so many pics that it would take forever to post them all on here.  They are all on our ministry page www.facebook.com/noturningbackministry

Like I said so much has been going on and so much is getting ready to take place with our Angel Tree party, Christmas on the Square and all of our other Christmas things that are going on that I will try to post as often as I can.  Just thought I would pop in for a quick post!  Thanks everyone for getting me to 427 reads!!  You guys know you can follow me too right?  Can sign up using facebook to make it easier, I like having followers :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My friend Dan Dugan

We just got a call today about a good friend of ours who had suddenly passed away.  We are still in shock, not quite sure about anything because all we know is that he passed away on Monday at his daughters house.  I am just glad he was at his daughters house, he loved his daughter so much.  I have never met her, but I feel like I know her.  My girls are going to miss him, they called him Uncle Dan, he always chewed on Ella's neck (she loved him so much), he brought suckers and tootsie rolls for Sierra, (she looks for him every week, she even likes to pretend that she doesn't like him just so he will chase her down and love on her).

Dan had such a gentle spirit about him, anytime you would ask him what was going on, he would always without fail say "Jesus!  Jesus is what is going on, do you know Jesus?"  There is no doubt in my mind that Dan is in glory with Jesus laughing and singing one of his many songs that he wrote for Him.  It just isn't going to be the same without him, it never is.  He was always the first to pray with or for someone, was never ashamed to lay hands on someone wherever he was at at the time.  I never heard him say anything negative about anyone ever.  He always had a smile and was one of the most postive persons I have ever known in my life.  He loved everyone, and he loved Jesus like none other. 

We met Dan about a year ago or so, we were doing a commercial on a local radio station and he heard it and came to check us out...and never left.  He became a permanent fixture at our support group and signed up for just about everything we had.  He had his own ministry, he published books with his amazing testimony in it, he had a couple of CDs out, and was huge on personal healing. 

I remember the last conversation I had with Dan.  I was telling him about my grandpa, that I was sad because he wasn't doing very well when I left him in San Antonio.  I told him that I know that he was ready to go, but I was selfish and I wanted to keep him for myself.  Dan told me that if he is ready to go, let him go.  I will see him again, and when God is ready to take him, or me or anyone, He is going to take them.  He gave me a big ol' Dan hug and said he would see me next week.  I sure will miss that old man.  I know that he is in a much better place, but I am selfish, I wasn't ready for him to go, I still had more of his stories to hear (even though he told the same ones quite often, mostly about his daughter and how much Ella looked and acted like her), more of his songs to listen to and learn, more ministry work to do with him, but I guess God decided he was ready for him, and so he did.


Dan, I sure will miss you and your great big smile.  I'm making mince meat pies for you next week, was already going to make them for Tuesday, but now I am dedicating them to you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christ For the Nations

Tonight we took our youth group to Christ For the Nations.  It was awesome!!  For those of you who don't know, Christ For the Nations is a bible college in Dallas.  They offer something called Tuesday Night Experience, they open the college for anyone who wants to come and listen to amazing worship music (a lot of the music graduates end up with awesome music careers in the Christian music industry), and awesome guest speakers who always give such a new look on things.

Tonight the guest speaker was from San Antonio, his name was Warren Beamer.  He had long hair, was originally from Lousiana, and was cracking jokes.  It was so nice to hear him talk about Jesus like he was his best friend. He was telling us about Luke 14:11, the story of the 10 lepers. Anyone who doesn't know this story, here is my paraphrase of the story.  Jesus is on the road and comes upon 10 men with leperacy.  They see Jesus and ask him to heal their leperacy, and He does, when He heals them He tells them to go tell the priest that they have been healed, so they run off to tell the priest, and one turns back and goes to Jesus and drops to the ground and hugs Jesus' feet and thanks him for healing him.  Jesus asks him "weren't there 10 of you?  Where did the other 9 go? Your faith has healed you."  And the man with leperacy goes and is completely healed.

Pastor Warren was explaining what the process of looking for leperacy was, how the doctors were more concerned with a small spot than someone who had a large spot becuase the large spot was the effect of your body fighting off the infection, and the person with the large spot knew that they were infected, they were very concerned with the person with the smallest spot because on the inside it was huge.  The same way that sin is in our lives, the person with the small sin doesn't think that they really need any help because it is something small, and they don't realize that there is anything festering inside their soul, and the person who is the addict, the prostitute, the alcoholic who sees that they have a problem that is huge realizes that they need the help.  It really hit home with a lot of the kids in our group who have come from homes with people who have the huge sin and realize they need the help.  He went on to explain that Jesus stopped what he was doing to heal 10 lepers.  If he would stop what he is doing to heal 10 people who have leperacy, why wouldn't he stop to help you?

I wish I could remember everything that was said, and if I can find the video online I will post it because it was an awesome message that hit home with a lot of our youth, and with some of the adults that went with us as well.  Hopefully some people took some of this home with them and will really put some thought into what was being said and how it effects their lives in a major way.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What a beautiful day!!!

Today was just an absolutely beautiful day!  It was georgeous outside, the sun was shining, the pancakes were flowing and the bees were buzzing.  Let me back up and explain. 

This morning, we took the family to Spiral Diner in Ft. Worth. 

For those of you who don't know, it is a vegan restaurant, the food is pricy, but it is worth it because it is GOOD.  Everything they serve is organic, most is local grown and everything is vegan.  We don't go there often because it is like an hour drive from us, and like I said it is kinda pricy when you are a family of our size.  But today we decided to splurge, every Sunday they do all you can eat pancakes for $5.95, so we hopped in the car this morning and headed to Ft. Worth.  When we got there the line took forever, but after about 45 minutes of waiting, we finally got to sit down (same table we always seem to get...hmmm.  Seeing as we went to have pancakes, that would be what you would think we would order right?  Nope, Sierra and Ella got the pancakes, Tae got broccoli and tofu, Jimmy got a nut burger, Haley got a portabello patty melt burget and I got a portabello burger.  So good!!!  Just not enough of it, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be.  So since we were already it Ft. Worth we decided that since it was such a beautiful day, that we would go to the Botanical Gardens, after all they were only like 5 minutes away, and it is much better than being cooped up in the house.

So we piled into the car and headed to the Botanical Gardens.  It was a great choice.  The fall colors were absolutely breathtaking.


Breathtakingly beautiful


Have you ever seen an evergreen tree not be green???


Sierra had to pose for this one, she picked which flower she wanted to smell in the picture

 

Ella wanted to smell the purple one because it was my favorite color.


Trying to get some good pics of the girls


I snuck this one when Haly wasn't looking


Sierra took a family picture, not bad for a 4 year old

After the Botanical Gardens we went to Coldstone Creamery and got some ice cream and then came home.  All in all today was a great day, no one took any phone calls (our phones were dead most of the day thanks to the newest iPhone update, and I am curerntly downloading what is supposed to fix it, hopefully it will because my battery is dying like crazy and I know I am not using it THAT much), and we just had a great family day.  Sometimes that is so needed, we get so busy in our day to day lives with work, ministry, school, housework that we forget how important it is to work on our family life.  Without our family life, nothing else matters.  It needs attention too, and I am so glad that we did that, it was needed.  So now the kids are in bed, Jimmy is on the computer in the office, I am finishing this up and then, I just might watch a scary movie (since all of my tv shows were reruns last week :( so I don't need to catch up on them) all by myself and pig out on some veggie straws (sooo good get them if you can find them).  Night all, see you soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

When I grow up I wanna be...

This question has haunted me my whole life.  What do I want to be when I grow up?  I am 30 years old and I still haven't figured it out yet. 

Since I was old enough to talk I said I wanted to be a singer.  I still do, but I am to afraid to really go anywhere with it because I desperatly want to be good and I am horribly afraid that someone is going to tell me that I am not very good at it (yes I have been told my whole life that I am good at it and I still get told, but some of those people on American Idol were told they were good their whole lives too.  And no I am not fishing for compliments, just being honest).  I think if anyone were to tell me that I sucked at singing, I would curl up into a ball and die...seriously, I am overly sensitive to this issue, ask anyone that really really knows me, I really am.

When I was about 7 or so I learned how to crochet, nothing fancy, just chains and a blanket (nothing big enough to use because, come on, I was 7 and had no attention span), but within the last few years I picked it back up again.  Nothing to big or fancy, my attention span hasn't gotten much better over the years, but enough that I can make hats (with a very detailed pattern), blankets, scarfs, and that is about it so far, there are a lot of things I would love to make, but haven't had the time, or the right colors to make them, and if I make them in the wrong color it ruins the entire thing.  I love crocheting things, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to that though, I will start something and undo it about a million times, no matter how far into it I am if I look and realize that I have done 75 rows and in the 3rd row, I added a stitch and it doesn't look right anymore, I will undo all 72 rows to redo that 3rd row just to make it perfect.  So that being said,  full length blanket can take me quite a while to make, so I tend to stick to small things.  I would love to be able to sell them and make a little play money, and I sold a few, but all it really covered was the cost of the yarn and the shipping, but I am not discouraged.

I love to write, I have always written things, when I was about 12 I started writing poetry.  I love reading, so for me writing was a natural thing, I love trying different writing styles, but none of them are me.  I have "written" many books that were a whole 7 pages of the same thing and way more detail than any book could ever need (I mean seriously, come on, now many ways can you say she was wearing a blue dress?), and no matter what kind of "book" I was writing, they all started, "It was a dark and stormy night..." yes I know worst opening ever.  The characters were always the same and the same thing always happened.  By the time I got a few pages into it, I was drawing a blank, and the whole creative writing process started.  As for my poetry, I wrote about 12 or 15 and that was about it, it helped me through a lot of heartbreak during middle and high school, and I had one published in a book that you could only read if you bought it through this one website, but it was published and I felt I had accomplished something when I was 14.

Drawing would be so cool!  I would love to draw some beautiful pictures, but I totally lack that skill.  I took ceramics in high school...we will just say that ceramics and art are not my strong points.  My stick figures laugh at me and even another blog I read would laugh so hard at my pics and she prides herself on her crappy pictures.

Being a massage therapist would be really cool too.  You get to make your own hours, make good money and you are helping people de-stress.  It would also be cool to be a CSI!  That would rock! 

I know that some of my ideas are out there, and some are pretty realistic, luckily I still have a lot of time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friendships

Today's blog started out being about what we did today, but I think I am going to post about that tomorrow when I have all the pics uploaded, because it just won't be the same without all the awesome pics.  Instead this post is going to be about friendships.  The reason I changed it last minute is because something just came to me (one of those moments I talked about yesterday that usually comes during the day when I am away from my computer, or when I am falling asleep).

I have a lot of friends, some are close, some are not, some are best friends and some are more like family.  When I moved from Texas to California when I was 11 it was really hard on me.  I was leaving my entire life behind, all my lifelong friends.  Everyone told me I would make new ones, but it would never be the same as the ones I was leaving behind.  Everyone told me I could keep in touch with my old ones, but with time came the new friends, still not as good as the old ones, but they kept me busy enough that the letters and phone calls to the old ones (one in particular) became further and further between and to this day I don't remember who was the last one to call or write to one another.  It is a little easier now with Facebook and email and texting and things like that, but things will never be the way they were when we were 11 (and thanks to Facebook we are talking again, and we even see each other in person on occasion).  I don't expect things to be the same, almost 20 years of growing up has happened since then, but it is still great to catch up, look at old (really old) pictures of us when we were 2 playing in the snow, and old dance pictures and watching our kids play now who are the age we were is just to cool (to bad we never went to University of Texas in Austin together and became dorm buddies while I majored in music, but I think our lives turned out great anyway, God had a better plan for us, I just regret all the years we missed out on).

Once I moved to California, I found it really hard to make friends, I had this "stigma" attached to me, it was called "I'm from Texas, and apparently I talk different than all of ya'll so let's make fun of me" anyone else have this one or one like it that followed you?  Well I did and I didn't like it.  I made a few friends and soon by high school I had the biggest and best group of best friends anyone could ever have.  Still to this day I love each and every one of them, they became family, my mom was their mom, their mom was my mom, we did EVERYTHING together, we were inseperable.  I hope that when all of my kids grow up that they will have a group like mine, even though they will never be as cool as we were, but they can sure try. 

Then, it happened again, my senior year.  Time to move again.  Military life really stinks when you are 17.  I once again had to leave all of my friends, my best friends, my family of friends.  My world came crashing down around me once again.  My saving grace...one of my best friends had moved to the same place the year before me.  I had one, just one friend, and that was all I needed.  By then we had email and AOL, but it was dial-up and it just sucked.  Nothing like what we have now, if we had then what we have now, our friendships would have never changed.  We could have facetimed all the time and had sleepovers online and all kinds of stuff (the ideas are endless!!!), but we couldn't.  And by the time all of this stuff came about, 8 years had passed, we had gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced (some of us), gotten remarried.  A lot of actual growing up had happened.  And a lot of growing apart had happened too.  The closeness that was there before, just wasn't there anymore, try as we might, it just wasn't.  I still to this day love them all dearly and wish things could be back the way they used to be, back when we all lived in the same area, went to the same school, but we can't.

I now have new friends again, some are close, some are new, and some are like family that I don't know what I would do without. My friendships with my new friends are different than my old friendships were.  I wish I could combine the two, but that isn't going to happen and I know this.  Sometimes moving on from friendships is really hard, sometimes you feel like your heart is going to rip out of your chest because leaving your old friends behind hurts so bad, even though you know that there are going to be new friends just around the corner, it doesn't make it any easier, if anything it makes it harder because you know that eventually, you are going to love them dearly, and they are going to go and you have to do it all over again.

So here is the question I give to you.  What do you do?  Continue forward, push on and hope that these new friends never leave you, stop making friends all together?  Break all ties with friends when you notice that things are starting to frey between you because of work, family, ministry, or life is just getting in the way? Or just keep moving forward, acting like nothing is wrong and hope they find their way back, technology is an awesome thing after all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creative process...or not

I don't know what the deal is, all day long I can come up with the most amazing things that I want to write about when I get home, I finally get everything at home done and sit down at the computer, and immediately draw the biggest blank.  Sometimes I just stare at the blinking curser and imagine it is laughing at me and slowly sucking the imagination, interestingness (is that even a word?  Well it is now) and intelligence (previous word is the perfect example of this one) from my mind.  I sit, I stare, I start typing, I stop, I eat a Veggie Straw (OMG SO YUMMY!!!! They are these chip things made from veggies and they are so flipping good I have almost eaten the entire bag myself and it is a costco bag, I know I am so going to be sick and gain a good 50lbs off of them but they are good and they are veggies so they can't be bad for me...right???), I start typing again, stop, eat another handfull of Veggie Straws, drink some water, check the time on my phone, type some more.  Contimplate quitting blogging, remind myself that I now have 260 page views (oh yeah I rock!), draw another blank because of the pressure I am putting on myself, remind myself that 260 is not that many but still pat myself on the back for it.  Type some more, try to think of what it is I really want to write for the night and end up not coming up with what I thought of earlier in the day.

Eventually I will get the whole blogging process down to an art, I will keep a notepad and pen with me at all times so that I can quickly write down my ideas (because typing it into my iphone won't work that well, I am way more creative on pen and paper than a phone or keyboard), and I will be all organized and type an interestingly put together blog that will blow everyone away, it will happen...one day.  But for now, this is me, this is how my mind works, I have 6 kids, 2 businesses, a ministry, 4 dogs and a husband, my mind is frazzled and doesn't come together the way I would like, but it comes together the way it is supposed to, and I guess I will take it the way it is, I don't really have any other choice.  For now, my writing will be choppy, it will be unorganized, written the way my mind is, someday I plan to be organized, just not today.  So welcome to my mind, and my creative process...or not

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sister wives???



So for a while I have heard people talk about this show online on their facebook pages and things like that, but I don't have cable and TLC doesn't do full episodes online, besides I am to busy catching up on the good shows like Modern Family, Hoarders, Body of Proof and when it is on Beyond Scared Straight on abc.com and a&e.com so I hadn't had a chance to watch it.  Lo and behold, turn on Netflix today, and there it is, I don't know how many episodes are up, usually it is just the first )season of something like that, but I will figure it out as we go along.  So the girls and I watched the first episode totally disgusted.  What is wrong with these people??  Why would they want to allow thier husband to marry another woman, and sleep with her?!  Have children with her, watch them kiss each other?!  Quickly our opinions have been made, and our comments fly out of our mouths.  Nothing can change our minds, we sit there and watch this guy who has 3 wives decide to bring a fourth wife into his home!!  He already has 12 children and 3 wives, what the heck does he need with a fourth one?!  He has been married to the first three for 20 years, 17 years and 16 years.  And now he decides he needs to get with a 30 year old with 3 children of her own?!  I am beside myself as these women sit and talk about how this is the lifestyle they have chosen, they love their lives and wouldn't have it any other way, but then a couple of episodes later (yes we watched 4, don't judge us) the 3 wives are in tears about bringing another wife into their house.  I sat and watched these 3 ladies be heartbroken because they felt that they weren't enough for their husband of 16+ years.  How sad is it that these poor ladies have given everything for him and this lifestyle to just have him decide on a whim that he wants to take another wife on and they just have to accept it. 

I just don't understand how anyone can watch this and think that this lifestyle is ok and not harmful to anyone involved.  The newest wife was talking to one of the older girls and she asked her "so when you get older, will you life a polygamist lifestyle?"  To which the daughter replied "um...no.  I am sorry I love my life and wouldn't have it any other way, I love my dad and my 3 moms, but my husband will be for me and me alone."  The new wife chuckled uncomfortably and said "but then you don't get great new moms like me" and the daughter just laughed.  What is it doing to these kids? Teaching them that there is one person for a girl, but multiple for a guy?  That it is ok for a guy to basically cheat on his wife as long as he marries her too?  That the girl must be faithful to him and him alone, but that doesn't count for him?  Since when is that ok? 

This show has become my car wreck, you can't believe you are sitting there watching it, but you can't not look at it.  You are drawn to it in some sick twisted way, you want to know more about it, but not admit that you are curious about how they live, what in their minds makes it ok that they are like this.  Don't get me wrong, he seems to truly love all of his wives, and he is great to everyone (kids and wives that I can tell in 4 episodes), and for some people this is the lifestyle they have chosen, but that is so not for me in any way shape or form.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I have arrived...

Ok at least in my opinion I have.  Today when I logged into my blog for the first time since I posted last week I think it was (sorry guys I went to San Antonio for a week to spend some quality time with my family, my grandpa who is on hospice, my grandma who isn't doing very well, my mom who does way to much and my brother who is developing himself into someone I am quickly becoming so very proud of, yes Jesse I mean you) and when I logged in I had...252 page views!!!!!  I about jumped out of my seat...and would have if it wasn't 11:30 at night and the whole house was asleep, and I even had my very first comment!!  (thanks MB <3)  It took me a minute to come back to earth with my big head, but I have calmed down some...not a lot but some, enough to post on here.

So on to the topic at hand...a lot has happened since I last posted, I went to San Antonio for 5 days, just me and the babies.  The first time Jimmy and I have been apart for more than 2 days since we got together 7 years ago.  It was almost like he was there with me seeing as we talked a lot and send videos of the girls and texted, but everyone survived (he was left with Haley and Taylor since they had school).  I came home expecting my house to be a disaster (since I am the one that does the cleaning around here), and unrecognizable but instead I came home to dinner (turkey roast, biscuits, gravy, and french fries) and a clean house (most of it and I won't complain).  I think I might just have to go out of town by myself more often!  Jimmy says this was a test run, but has since changed his mind, he won't leave my side for more than 10 minutes, tells me he loves me quite often, I think I am going to enjoy this bit of pampering while it lasts, I have since gone back to being the only one who cleans, but I think I will find a way around that here very soon...*tee hee hee*

Last night we went trick or treating with the girls (Haley went with Key Club trick or treating for Unicef) around his mom's neighborhood, and

  Sierra wanted to be a princess, so she was Princess and the Frog

 Ella was a cheerleader

And Buffy was a puppy princess


Taylor and I were 50's girls with poodle skirts (nope, no pics) and we had a blast.  Sierra was going to houses saying "trick my tree!!!" but wouldn't say thank you to them because she didn't know them so she couldn't talk to them (great thinking for a 4 year old, totally made since to her)

So now that Halloween is over, it is time to start working on our Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff, Thanksgiving baskets for our support group and Angel Tree party (we are adopting 100 kids in our county and providing Christmas presents from their incarcerated parent, also we provide Christmas dinner for the family as well).  We have canned good drives, bake sales, fundraisers, Christmas plays...talk about overwhelming, so glad I got my mini-vacation out of the way.  I have so much more I would like to post, but Tuesdays are pretty draining, so I will try to post all that is on my mind tomorrow, just wanted to check in, let ya'll know I am still alive and kickin' and that I have arrived!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Whatever happened to...

What ever happened to being a kid?  I ask this because when I think back to when I was between the ages of 12 and 18, I had fun.  Yeah I had my share of boyfriends, homework, grounding (don't even get me started on that one I have more than enough experience with that to last me 6 lifetimes), chores, babysitting, and not doing good in school...but I had so much fun, school dances, trick or treating, running around the neighborhood, sleeping over at friends houses, friends sleeping over at mine, more mom's than I knew what to do with (every one of my friends mom, was my mom too and didn't have a problem telling me that I needed to help with stuff around the house since I was there long enough to create the mess, and told me when It was time for me to go home, and my mom was their mom too, she had no problem telling them what they should and shouldn't do).

The reason I am blogging about this is because recently my 12 year old Taylor (and my 16 year old Haley did this last year and the year before) was telling me about the Halloween dance at school (when I was in middle school I so would have been the first person to buy my ticket), and how no one was going to go to the dance because it was "lame" COME ON PEOPLE!?  You are 12 and 13 years old!  What is wrong with dressing up in your costume and hanging out with your friends at a school dance?!  My friends and I went to every single dance (that I wasn't grounded for), we went to the awesome ones (ROTC Ball, Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins-my fav because it gave me another excuse to ask a guy out) and the not so awesome ones (can't even remember which ones weren't awesome, even if the theme wasn't that great, they all rocked).  Haley was telling me that she wasn't going to her prom because school dances are "lame"  Prom???  Really?????  Why can't kids just be kids and enjoy the time they have?  It took Haley 2 years to get to a point where she is involved in anything at school and only because we pushed her to join Key Club last year, and pushed her to join band halfway through school last year.  Now I hate that she missed out on so much fun in high school.  Now she is never home (not complaining because she is doing great things with her school and her education), finally after telling her for almost 2 years that high school was going to be the best 4 years of her life, she gets it.  Why can't kids just be kids?  Why can't they just have fun and enjoy going to school dances, just be silly and run around the block with their friends making crazy faces and jumping all over the place?  Why does everything have to be so serious?  What happened to kids?  Did we do this to them?  Did we make them want to grow up so fast?  Did we make them have to grow up so fast?  Why can't they just be 12?  Why can't they just be 8?  Why can't they just be 15 or 16?  Why can't they just play outside and ride a bike and dress up for halloween?  What happened to our kids??

Sunday, October 16, 2011

San Antonio...and grandpa

So this weekend we went to San Antonio, I love going to San Antonio!  I was born there, raised there until I was 11 and my family lives there.  If I had it my way, I would go visit like every single weekend.  We stayed at the Menger Hotel by the riverwalk (do a search, it is supposedly haunted, but I don't think so), I got to see my uncle who I haven't seen since I was like 13 or so, met my cousin or something that I hadn't met before (he is 3), took some great pictures, watched the Rangers win the game and clench going to the World Series for the 2nd straight year (GOOOOO RANGERS!!!!).  Ate waaaaaaaay to much (I don't think I want to see food again for another year), rode the boar on the riverwalk, took some old time pictures, hung out with my baby brother (even though he is almost a foot taller than me now), went to lunch with my grandma, did some electrical work, walked around downtown, laughed a whole lot and came home.

I finally made it to go see my grandpa.  I sure have missed him.  He isn't doing well, and I am glad I got to see him this weekend.  When I got to the nursing home on Saturday, he was coming down the hall in his wheelchair.  My heart caught in my chest, he looks so frail, so fragile.  Just a shell of the vibrant person he used to be.  This was the first time he has been out of bed in over 2 months.  He got out of bed because he knew I was coming to see him.  He was going down the hall looking for me.  He didn't want me to see him laying in bed.  You see, the last thing I said to him the last time I talked to him was that I was coming soon, that once he got out of the hospital and got to doing better I would be coming to see him.  Sure enough, he got out of the hospital a few weeks ago, and started doing better, so I kept my promise, and I went to see him.  My mom has been telling him for over a week that I was coming, and my cousin told him Friday night that I was coming Saturday morning, so he knew I was coming.

I had such a wonderful visit with him, so many memories were made.  He wasn't back to how he used to be, his voice is very quiet, and my mom and I had to pat him on the back to break up the fluid in his chest every once in a while to get a voice back, but he told me that he didn't have much time left, and he could feel it coming.  He got to see Sierra and Ella again.  They picked flowers for him and covered him with about 40 yellow and orange flowers and he even let Jimmy take pictures of him (something that he NEVER lets anyone do) I gave him a mini massage he showed me how he could move his fingers on his left hand (something he just started doing within the last few months (he hasn't been able to move anything on his left side since his second stroke over 5 years ago).  He was trying to tell me things that I couldn't understand because he has no voice and I couldn't hear him, but all in all we had a great visit.  We sat outisde in the beautiful fall weather and just enjoyed some much needed time together.  I know that Sierra and Ella are way to young to remember any of this, but my grandpa's day was made by them loving on him even though they really don't know who he is, by them showing his rolly polly's that they found with their cousin (that they had just met for the first time the previous day but were instant best friends).  We stayed for almost 2 hours, but they just flew by.  I could have stayed all day, but he was tired, it was a lot for him to handle since it was his first time out in a few months.  I have a hard time looking at him as a fragile shell of who he used to be.  I see him and just want him to start making donald duck voices again, or telling me about how it was when I was groing up and telling him he was my daddy and holding onto his leg, or when I was digging in the backyard when I was like 5 and I couldn't find anymore dirt, or remembering going to the apple carnival thing when I was 13 or so and he introduced me to Toby Keith music.  It's not easy to see my big strong grandpa who could defeat anyone and anything because he is all powerful, reduced to a shrivled old man (who isn't old), who needs someone to change his clothes, wipe his mouth, someone to move his hand and wheel him around so that he can get where he needs to go.  Someone who has to point at a board to tell you when he needs or wants something because you can't hear him because he can't speak above a muttered whisper.  But he is still the same person on the inside, trying to joke around and make faces.  Still wanting and needing his family to love him, needing people to talk to, someone to show that yes, they still care about him and he isn't forgotten.

That was probably the best, and worst part of my trip down there.  I will never forget the time I got to spend with him this weekend, and there never is enough time when it comes to someone you love.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekends

Weekends are for a normal family, a time to relax, time to sit back and really do nothing.  Notice I said a normal family.  If I have ever given the impression that we are a normal family, I assure you, we are not.  Our weekends are hectic, they are crazy, they are loud, there is a lot of running around screaming like crazy people, there is a lot of kids screaming "she touched me, she won't quit singing in my ear, why doesn't she have to go to bed?"  The peace and quiet idea of weekends is lost on me.  Not that I really or truly mind, but sometimes it is nice.

This weekend was of no exception, we had our housefull (as we do quite often).  All 6 kids here, sugar flying, attitudes soaring, rain (thanks, couldn't have waited until during the week, lets rain on the weekend and keep everyone inside.  In reality, I loved it, but wished it would have rained before 1:00am so I could have sat outside and really enjoyed it, but that's ok), dogs barking and running around, growling because one of the kids won't stop picking them up (did I mention before we have 4 dogs, all of them small, 2 male sharpay/boxer mix puppies, 1 male chihuahua/min pin mix and one female purebred shi tzu puppy, she is the one who doesn't like to be picked up very much, the story of getting 4 dogs will be another story for another day), constant setting and clearning the table, neverending picking things up all over the house (don't even get me started on the bedrooms or laundry).  Our weekend was packed with football games, birthday parties, going to friends houses, work, ministering at the prison and before we knew it, Sunday night is here again.  All we can do is look back and say "wow, where did my weekend go?  What happened to the relaxing we were supposed to do?" 

Sunday, the day we are supposed to relax, never is the day it is supposed to be anymore.  Not that much got done today, food was cooked (heath bar pancakes for breakfast and some chicken pasta thing for dinner, lots of snacking in between), laundry was folded and put away (for the most part, there is still some in the middle of my living room floor that I am ignoring at this moment even though it is calling my name), kitchen was cleaned again, and again, and again.  But for the most part, today was relaxing in our own way, we watched a few movies, ran around the house chasing the girls around, gave the little ones baths (after the 3 year old decided that it would be more fun to wipe her poop all over the toilet seat than to throw the toilet paper in the trash), let them run around outside for a while to burn off energy, made cookies (yeah, smart to make cookies at 9:00 at night, not our most brilliant moment of the day, let me tell you), wrestled the little ones to bed in hopes the sugar crash would soon take hold of their over tired little bodies, which it did, a whole 20 minutes ago.  So I am sitting here on my laptop in the living room, Rebecca and Sam wanting to watch yet another movie to delay the bedtime that is coming enjoying the quiet time that is the few minutes I get between when Sierra and Ella go to sleep and when I finally unwind for the day.  A few minutes to really relax, have some "me" time.  And now, my "me" time has come to an end, my eyes are starting to droop and the morning is coming way to soon.  So good night for now, sweet dreams to all, and until next time :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grandpa...tell me 'bout the good old days...

Yes that is a Judd's song, my favorite of all time.  Not because it is catchy, not because they sing it really really good, not because of anything other than it is my grandpa and my song.  As far back as I can remember, I would always say "Grandpa" in that way when he would say something really silly like carrots (caruts is how he would say it, you see my grandpa is from England and that is how he talked and it was a running joke between us to get him to say carrots, bear and scrunchies, that was my favorite), and I would say "Grandpa" and he would always finish with "tell me 'bout the good old days" and not just say it, he would sing it to me, every single time.  Every time I talked to him on the phone, say him in person, that was our thing, no one else's.  I can't hear that song without thinking of my grandpa.

5 years ago, my grandpa had a stroke.  He was found on the floor in his bedroom by my aunt (great aunt, his sister) when he didn't show up to church on Sunday morning and he didn't call her or answer the phone when she tried to call him.  We found out later he had been laying on the floor for 24 hours before she found him.  The fire department couldn't get in to him right away because of the bars on his door and windows, but they finally got in.  I will always remember the phone call from my mom telling me he had a stroke, he was at the hospital and she was on her way to check on him.  He recovered from the stroke almost completely within a few weeks I think it was, and then he started having strokes again.  I think he had 6 or 7 of them total.  We were told he would never be back to himself again.  He would never walk again, he would never be able to be on his own again, might never eat again.  My grandpa wasn't my grandpa anymore, he was a shell of the person he used to be.  But he was still my grandpa.  It took him some time to get used to the fact that he was going to have to stay in a nursing home for the rest of his life, he went through depression, anxiety, hallucinations that someone was trying to kill him (he has no mobility or feeling in his right arm, and it would flop over him during the night and he thought it was a person), acceptance, back to depression, back to acceptance and so on.  It has been a roller coaster ride with him, but every time I go see him, I will always get him to say carrots, bear, and scrunchies (my absolute favorite because he says it skrungies) and I will always say "Grandpa" and he will say "tell me 'bout the good old days" even though you can't fully understand him.  He is always in good spirits, joking around, making everyone laugh even when he is hurting.  The last time I talked to him I told him that I was going to come see him, but he had to get out of the hospital first, and he said, "I did, but you didn't come so I came back!"  He was only out for a day, then had to be re-admitted for pneumonia again.  He has decided that there will be no more hospital trips for him, and he told the nurses that he is ready to die, he is tired, he has been fighting for a long time.  I can't say that I blame him, he can't even get out of bed anymore, I don't know if I would have lasted as long, but I am greedy, I want my grandpa, I need my grandpa.

I don't think I am fully ready for the day that he isn't here with us anymore, even typing that tears me apart, he has been more than a grandpa to me, he was a father when I didn't have one, a disciplinarian when I needed one, a protector when I didn't want one, and everything I needed when I didn't know I needed it.  I keep telling myself that I am ready, and I will be able to handle it when he goes, but I know I am not ready, I know I will handle it because God will never give me more than I can handle, but it won't be easy.  For as long as I live, there will be so many things that remind me of him, the name Billy (his "twin" brother that used to scare the daylights out of me as a kid), brown paper bags (he used to play with an invisable ball and catch it in the brown paper bag), Toby Keith (he introduced me to Toby Keith music and got me a cassette tape of his), McHammer (he used to make me mix tapes and send them to me all the time), potatoes, (his favorite food in the whole world), cheese (he HATES cheese and I always tease him that I will make him potatoes and he gets all excited, and then I tell him I will put lots and lots of cheese on it and he always says "gross!!!" and then we all crack up).  I know there will come a day where he will not be here, and when I go to San Antonio to visit my mom and grandma, I won't go to the nursing home to see him and it will be so weird, and I won't be asking her how grandpa is anymore and it will take a lot of getting used to because I talk to her almost every day and I always ask how he is doing and what is the lastest on him.  I know there will be a day that I hear that song on the radio and just burst into tears because he won't be there to say "tell me 'bout the good old days" anymore.  But I know that he will be better off, he won't be in that nursing home anymore, he won't be tired anymore, and he will be happy.  I will see him again someday when it happens, but for now, I will stick to calling him and mom translating our conversation and sending hugs and kisses (on the cheek always on the cheek becuase that is just the way he is) and cherish the time I have left with my wonderful grandpa, who will tell me 'bout the good old days

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Church and bedtime...

Well today was the first time in a while that we went to church.  Jimmy and I got up early, got ready and rode the bike to visit a local church.  We don't have a church home which will shock a lot of you, our church home is the prison, and our support group.  We have church wherever God leads us to have church at the time, if it is at our kitchen table, so be it, if it is a group on Tuesday nights, ok no problem, and it always always always happens at the prison on Fridays and the 2nd saturday of every single month without fail for the last 5 years.  So while we don't have a "Church home" we have many church homes that love us and welcome us and are excited to see us every week.  So anyway now that we have that out of the way, we went to church this morning and heard an amazing message about being on fire for the Lord, how to many churches are dying because they have become pew sitters by nature and think that they are serving by doing nothing.  That we need to get out there and do some footwork, how do we expect anyone to get saved if we aren't doing anything to show them what it is like to live as a person who is saved?  Are they just supposed to look at someone sitting in a chair about to fall asleep and think "Whoo-Hoo!!!  I so want some of what they have going on!!!!  Let me go ask them how I can do that too!"  NO!  You have to get out there and start showing people how blessed you are, post it on facebook, tweet about it, put it on myspace (if it is still out there, I have heard a rumor that it is), text about it, scream it from the rooftops.  Let everyone know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, he is the only way!  That a life with Him is so amazing and you don't know how you did it before you found Him.  How is anyone supposed to know if you don't tell them and show them the amazing gift you have been given?  Needless to say, this evening, Jimmy and I went out to pass out fliers about our ministry, to let people know about Him and what He is doing in our lives.  We knocked on doors for about 2 hours, handed out fliers, told them about what we were doing (scared one guy, I guess the biker vests were a little to much for him, he wouldn't open the glass screen door).  Some might show up at group this week, some might not.  Either way, we got the word out there and someone who's door we knocked on, God set that up, they needed to hear that there is something out there for them, someone who won't judge what they have done, who loves them for who they are.  There is a group of people out there meeting every week with piercings, tattoos, bikers, cowboys, old, young, some with bad tempers, some that are quiet, some that are loud, some that cuss then blush, some that cuss and then cuss again because they are sorry, but no one judges one another, we just love one another, and we would love to have them join our group if for nothing else, just to check it out (they almost always come back at least a few times, and some we just can't get rid of no matter what we do j/k we love all of our people).

So on to the other thing in the title of tonights post.  Bedtime, yes I know it is an odd combination, church and bedtime, but tonight God just opened my eyes to something huge!  I have said before that I am working on getting the girls to bed on their own, so far they have been doing really good, Ella the past couple of nights has been throwing fits when it comes time to make easy decisions for the night.  She does really good up until she has to decide which blanket she wants to use and if she wants it wrapped around her or if she just wants to be covered.  It is a major meltdown as if I have just told her that she will be wrapped up in fire ants or no chocolate for the rest of her life or something awful like that.  I ask her first which blanket and she just sits there and looks at me as if I am speaking Chinese or something, so I ask her again, "Ella, which blanket do you want to use tonight?  Poka dots or the red one?"  Last night she decided she was going to choose something that wasn't one of the two choices just to see if I was paying attention, and of course it would be the one that Sierra was using.  That ended up being a 10 minute tantrum.  So tonight I asked her 3 times, she just looked at me so I said, "ok, you think about it, I am going to go cover Sierra and I will be back to cover you (they are in toddler beds like 4 feet away from one another).  Meltdown 1 starts.  I ignore her, ask Sierra which blanket she wants, she wants her heart one, and she wants it around (which is always more fun because it comes with a snuggle and a bounce/throw onto the bed), hug, kiss, I love you's, sweet dreams and she is done (have I mentioned I love that kid).  Back to Ella, I ask her again which blanket she wants and she just melts down, bawling.  I calmly ask again, "Ella, you need to pick a blanket or I am going to have to pick for you because it is going to get really really cold in your room tonight."  Nothing.  So I tell her, "Ok, I am going to cover you with the red and the poka dot kiss and hug and I am going to go in the living room, I have some things I need to do"  so I cover her, she kicks the blanket off, I cover her again, she kicks it off again.  I cover her, hold it down long enough for me to kiss her on the head, hug her, tell her I love her and good night, out the door.  The child sounds as if she has become posessed!!!  Kicking and screaming, who is this kid and what has she done with my sweet Ella who loves to sit on the couch with me and rub my hair and tell me how much she loves me?!  So heartbroken I sit in the livingroom (right next to their room) and try to get lost in facebook (zombies, smurfs and sims), but I just can't get into it.  I wait a few minutes in hopes she will calm down and go back in, ask her again, "would you like to pick a blanket?  I will either cover you, or put it around and we can start over again."  Supernanny would have a FIT!!!  But it turns out all she needed was a few minutes to realize I meant business, if she was not going to pick, I would and I would make sure that she still got her hugs and kisses and her I love you's, but I was not going to mess around.  I guess she either learned Chinese or I started speaking English again because she picked the poka dot one, wanted it around and gave the biggest hugs and kisses and told me that she loved me.  My Ella Bella was back.

The reason I told the long verson was because this is how it was revealed to me.  We are Ella, or Sierra.  God tells us, you can either go this way and pick which one, I can love you through it, hug you, kiss you, tell you how much I love you and we can do it peacefully.  Or you can make the decision to choose the third thing, not what I intend for you to do.  But if you do this, it isn't going to go well, you are going to end up kicking and screaming and mad, throwing a fit like a 3 year old, but I will still try to help you make the right decision, still give you a hug and kiss and tell you that no matter how you act, I will always love you.  Once you decide that you have calmed down, you can come to me, and we will find a way to get you back where you need to be, back to the choices that I laid out before you, the ones that I am blessing for you.  We can either work together or against each other, but it is always easier to work together.

I was sitting on the couch after the last time I went in the room, when my Ella was back and I just had one of those ah-ha moments and it was like, "duh!  How have I never gotten that before?!"  Ever have one of those moments?  The ones where you can just hear God talking to you and telling you, "This is what I have been trying to get across to you."

Friday, September 30, 2011

Remember what is important

Tonight I had the scare of my life.  There are moments where you think the worst, and then there are moments where you fear the worst in the pit of your stomach so strongly that you could throw up just to make it go away.  I had one of the latter tonight.

Jimmy goes to the prison every Friday night to do our bible study with the guys at the unit.  Normally he is done between 9:15 and 9:30 and home by about 9:45 at the latest.  Well tonight, the girls and I are having fun making cookies and just being like girls will be, homework and stuff like that, when 1, 2, 3 cops go flying down the road in front of our house, sirens blazing going no less than 90 mph.  I look at the clock because I know it is getting close to time for Jimmy to be heading home, and it is 9:30.  The cops are flying toward the direction of the prison.  Then a firetruck and ambulance go flying by.  The first thing I think is oh my gosh!  Jimmy is on the bike, and I have his phone!  It is just about time for him to be on his way and there is a very dangerous intersection between here and the prison and the worst flashes into my mind.  Minutes start to crawl by, I am imagining horrible things, and it is taking every ounce of my being not to jump into the car and fly to the prison.  All I can see is him laying in a road somewhere, his drivers license still has our old address on it, he doesn't have his phone, and doesn't have an insurance card on him (still with our old address on it too, I really need to fix that come to think of it).  My heart starts racing, I can feel the nausea setting in.  I start shaking thinking about what would I do if something was to happen to him.  How would I survive without him.  How empty would my life be, how would I explain to the girls that something happened to their daddy, he is their whole world (I am fighting back tears while I am typing this and reliving the entire thing).  I am trying not to panic but time just isn't moving fast enough for me and I have no way of knowing if the person I love more than anything is ok or not.  So I wait...time ticks by more slowly than it has ever ticked by before in the history of time.  9:45 comes and still nothing, 9:50 and I am almost beside myself with worry and I hear a careflight helocopter go by.  Now I am about to loose my mind and just burst into tears.  I calm down, get a glass of water and call the prison to see if he left yet, if they say yes just a minute ago, we are good, if they say he left a while ago, it is time for me to make the longest drive of my life.  They say that all of the volunteers are still there at the unit.  I almost cried with joy, I explained to them that I am not some crazy wife, that all of these cops went flying that way, he was on the bike, no phone and I could tell that she totally understood and reassured me that he was ok and still there, count didn't clear.  Needless to say, I felt so much better, I could have cried with joy at that moment.

I can honestly say that I have never been so worried about someone in my life.  It is moments like this that make you realize just how much you love someone.  How much your whole world revolves around them.  How important they are to you.  So many people worry so much about their posessions and don't really care about the people around them.  In that moment, I realized just how much I really do love him and don't know how I could live without him.  Him and I have a saying, "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow" (then I found out there was a song that said it, and I said they stole it from me, but it turns out it was written long before I was born, but it is still MY saying).  That saying was never more true than it was tonight for me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rain, glorious rain

Who knew that when I posted about how awful and hot, and dry and just yucky it is, that the very next night we would get rain?!  How exciting it is, and how desperately needed.  Of course it didn't rain enough to get us out of the extreme drought conditions we are in, but it was enough to get everyone excited about it.

I have been working at putting Sierra and Ella to bed at a decent hour (yes I know 3 and 4 year olds should already be on a schedule, don't get me started on this subject or we will be here for a looooong time), and by themselves.  Normally the way our night goes is kinda like this. 

10:00pm - Me: "girls, it's bedtime, lets get your pj's on and start getting ready for bed!!"
                 Sierra and Ella: *poof* nowhere to be found
10:30pm - Me: "girls, come on, it is time for bed!"
                Sierra and Ella: acquire the ability to become invisible
11:00pm - Me: "IT IS BEDTIME, GET IN YOUR ROOM NOW!!!!!!!!" find girls, drag them kicking and screaming to their room, read bedtime story after fighting over who's turn it is to read a story and which story to read, read story, decide if they want their blankets covering them or around them, turn on fan, turn off light, I sit on floor of room with my iPad/iPhone watching something on Netflix or playing a game while they go to sleep.

12:30am/1:00am - girls are finally asleep so I can take care of whatever last minute thing I have to take care of and at about 2:00am I drag myself to bed and depending on the day I am either up at 6:00am to take Haley to school, or 9:30ish when the girls decide they are going to be wide awake and ready to run circles around me and our day begins.

So with that being said, 2 nights ago, I decided it was time to transition to them going to sleep in their rooms by themselves, Haley needed help with her homework that was due at midnight that night (college class), I couldn't do it with the girls running around I needed to concentrate.  So I put them to bed, explained that it was time to go to sleep, I had to take care of some things and I would be in the kitchen. IT WORKED!!!!  They went to sleep by themselves without so much as a peep!!!!!  The next night, I did the same thing, and it worked again!  I feel like a pro at this now, no screaming, no fits, no coming out of the room a million times asking for something!  I got this down!!!

WRONG!!!  This absolutely wonderful beautiful storm, destroyed my work...The thunder terrified Sierra, it was to bright with the lightening and the thunder was to loud for Ella (who hates anything louder than someone talking).  They did not want to go to sleep.  My poor babies were scared and it took everything in me not to go back to sitting in their room until they fell asleep because I don't like when my babies are scared.  So I did the next best thing.  I sat down with them and explained how God made the rain, and God only makes good things right?  He made them and me, and then they start getting excited to name off all of the things God makes (including their toys and clothes and pets).  I then explained in a way that only God could have told me to explain it, why it rains, why we shouldn't be scared, how important it is, how the sound of thunder sounds like God clapping or going bowling.  But I didn't explain it away.  I didn't explain how the thunder was God bowling, I didn't take away from what was happening, I just explained it in a way that I have never done before and could never do again.  Before I explained it to them, they were scared of the thunder, afraid of the storm, but when I took that 5 minutes to really explain what was happening and why it was ok, why it was good and why it was important that it was happening, they went right to sleep and weren't afraid anymore.

Leave it to God to teach a lesson using the rain.  A lesson not only to a 3 and 4 year old, but to me as well.  A lesson about how sometimes it is ok to be afraid, and sometimes you can't explain away your fear by making something up, but by holding onto the truth that is so much stronger than the pretty dolled up explanation like "the thunder is God bowling, or the lightening is God taking pictures"  Sometimes, the answer is just that simple, "The thunder sounds like God bowling, and the lightening looks like God taking pictures, but it really isn't.  God made the raid to help the plants grow, they were so thirsty that God made it rain so they wouldn't be thirsty anymore.  The rain is so good, and God only makes good things right?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yard Work

Yes, you read it right.  Yard work, I have decided that yard work and I have a love/hate relationship.  I love doing yard work, it is fun and tiring and rewarding to see your beautiful yard when you have slaved in the heat and been scratched and dirt is so thick under your nails that you would think you have things growing under them (your own walking personal garden).  But boy is it exhausting!

We moved into our new house almost 2 months ago, and I am more in love with it now than I was the first few times I looked at it, I was so excited about the potential for my own garden (not the one under the nails, but a real garden to grow veggies and stuff, I mean how hard can it be, everyone I know seems to have a garden, I guess we will see how hard it really is next spring), planting flowers, bushes and trimming trees and all things out-doorsey that was calling my name gave me spring fever.  Well let me tell you, spring fever in the summer in Texas is not a good thing to have, and I am so not the only one in this house that has been bitten by the spring fever out-doorsey bug.  My wonderful husband has been bit as well, as has Haley, Sierra and Ella.  At our old house, we didn't have trees...well let me reiterate, we did have trees, they were Bradford pear trees that were so far away from the house that they were pointless to even have.  We didn't have grass, we had these weed things that if you weren't careful they would eat anything on the ground, and nothing you could do would make it go away so you dealt with it and pretended it was grass.  The girls were dying to go outside and play, but there was no shade or anything to allow them to go outside and play.  Let me put it to you this way, I took Sierra by our old house not long after we moved in here just to pick up the last few things we had over there, and she flipped out because this was not her house, this was our old house and we didn't live here anymore!  And she made sure I knew that we were in the wrong place.  Now don't get me wrong, we LOVE our old house, it was great, it was beautiful and had a great open floor plan and room and it was a wonderful house, but we outgrew it, we bought it when it was just 6 of us, and 4 bedrooms was perfect and then...we had 2 more and that house became really really small really really quickly. 

So anyway, back to my yard work (bear with me, I tend to drift from time to time, I think all the years of pregnancy and raising kids has given me permanent brain damage).  Our new house has all kinds of trees, but since we live in Texas, just about everything died, and I don't just mean they stopped growing leaves, I mean 115 degree temperature walk outside to water and you might just have heatstroke so everything becomes so dry and dead that if you look at it funny, it just might burst into flames and Lord help us if someone throws a cigarette butt out the window, that will cause a fire the likes of which you have never seen (there should be a number to report people who do that!).  So at the entryway of our driveway is this beautiful (used to be in the spring until we hit record highs for a record time frame and rain just laughs and us and teases us for 4 months by lightening and clouding up and then leaving) archway of trees, no clue what kind, but they were beautiful, full and green.  Now, they are scary looking and missing half their leaves because they died and what leaves are there are just this ugly brown color.  So we do what anyone does who has spring fever, we get pruning sheers and start getting rid of the branches and raking the leaves and watering some bushes (no clue what kind, but they have purple flowers which automatically makes them my favorite bush in the world) to hopefully nurse them back to life...but the catch is, it is still summer temperatures in Texas, so we do all of this when the sun goes down.  Luckily we don't have neighbors on that side of the house, or I am sure they would think that we are insane, but all 6 of us are outside until about 11:00 at night cutting branches, raking, loading it in the back of the truck taking it to the back of the field in hopes that one day we might get to burn again, or the city might do a limb pick up or something, anything to get them away from where people might see them and it might take away from the beauty that is our brand new (to us) house. 

So now we get to the hate part of our relationship.  I HATE loading limbs into the back of the truck, driving for 30 seconds and unloading for hours on end.  I HATE looking at my kids who are so filthy they look like homeless children and I have to scrub the bathtub after a bath because it is so nasty from the mud and dirt and grime (and yes they have their own personal gardens under their nails too), I HATE sweating and being scratched by branches and bit by ants and mosquitoes.

Would I trade it for anything?  Nope, how could anyone trade the looks on these beautiful homeless looking kids who are so exhausted they can barely keep their eyes open, but are so excited about making our new house beautiful, and playing outside and riding their trikes and scooters and running and playing with sidewalk chalk and laughing and then falling asleep so excited to get to do it all over again tomorrow.  I guess I love more than I hate about the yard work, so tomorrow night, regardless of how tired I am, I will again take all of the kids out, leave the electronics in the house (oh yeah, no phones, computers, anything are allowed during our yard work times), and just get back to nature, the way God intended it, just us taking away the dead and dirty parts and throwing them away so that the new can come forward.


(my two beautiful "homeless" children before their bath and crashing for the night, the biggest love of yard work)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Introductions

Hello!  I have decided to start this over again, a new start and since no one read the previous posts, I deleted them, my blog and I can do what I want ;)

So here are my introductions to my life with a few pics so that as I go further along, you will know who I am talking about.


This is me and the love of my life, my wonderful husband of 6 years (as of 5 days ago).  He is the most wonderful husband in the whole world.  He is my support system and I don't know what I would do without him.  Together we have our own business and ministry, we are both ordained pastors and do everything for God's glory.  As you can tell, I am just a little proud of my hunny bunny.



This, is Haley, yes she is going to be mad at me for using this picture, but it totally describes the thinking of a 16 year old, the oldest child of 6.  The look says it all.  But in reality, she is a great kid, we are getting ready to go through getting her license (I am far to young to have a kid driving!).  She gets straight A's is taking 2 college credit classes, she does community service with her school and is already working toward getting scholarships so we don't have to pay for college for her!  I couldn't be more proud of her if she was biologically my own.



This is Taylor (Tae), she is 12 and just moved in with us this summer, she is a person all of her own.  Very headstrong and outspoken, not afraid to tell you what she thinks.  She has the biggest heart for the underdog I have ever seen in a 12 year old.  Since moving in here with us, she has blossomed into such a great person, I can't wait to watch her grow up into a great woman.



This is Rebecca, she is 11 and is the biggest ham!  She sees a camera and automatically strikes the goofiest poses.  She is such an amazing kid, I love her with all my heart, I have never met anyone like her.  She has never met a stranger (yes that impresses and terrifies me at the same time) and she loves everyone she has ever met.  And smart!  Man is this girl smart!  But blonde!  She cracks me up with some of the things that she says, trust me, you will understand as this blog goes further in detail.


This is my Sam-a-lam-a-ding-dong (she hates it, but secretly loves it when I call her that).  She is 8 going on 30.  This kid is soemthing else, she loves to be loved, she always wants to be hugging, kissing, be carried, sit on top of, hang off of, be under your feet so that she knows that you are close by, loving and be loved kind of kid.  The most famous Sam quote "I love dolphins" just randomly shouted out at the strangest times.  I love this girl!


Introducing Sierra.  She is 4 and thinks that she is much older than she is.  She loves to be the little mommy.  There is such a big personality in such a little body.  Her favorite thing to do is to sing and dance.  She would sing all day long if you let her.  She love hugs and kisses, but doesn't like strangers.  She loves baseball and absolutely loves Captain, the Ranger's mascot.



Introducing, Ella Bella.  She is 3 and our last baby.  What can I say about this little angel baby?  No matter what mood you are in, when she looks at you and smiles, the whole room lights up and everything that has been bothering you just melts away in those baby blue eyes.  She is such a sweet baby.  Her whole world revolves around Veggietales, music, dancing, dressing up and running around screaming at the top of her lungs.  She is the one who makes sure that the house is not clean and not quiet at all times, but I don't know what I would do without her, life would be so dull.

So this is my world.  My life, my heart.  My reason for living, breathing and getting up every day.  My heart never knew it could hold so much joy and love in it.  My days are long and some seem to never end, some are hectic, some days it seems like I haven't done anything at all.  Some days I am doing good to just get out of bed and get the kids dressed (or myself for that matter as I type this in my pj's), and others everything seems to just go right, up, house clean, all things taken care of for the day and the kids go down to bed early so my hunny and I can watch a move (rare days).  But to be totally honest, I wouldn't trade even the worst day for anything in the world.