Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What a weekend!

I haven't been on here to blog for a few days.  We had a very very busy Memorial Day weekend. It was exhausting but it was fun.

I worked Friday afternoon filling in for a friend at that afterschool program over at Bethel. Went to the church softball game. Kinda played. Hit the ball twice anyway. The kids had friends (notice the plural) over to spend the night. Saturday morning early yard sales on the hunt for a couch. Found one so that meant hauling out the old one and bringing in the new one. They were heavy! The kids went to friend's houses and Dan and I went out to a late lunch. Love me some Salsas. Pick up Timothy. Made a cake to take to church picnic on Sunday. Prepare for children's church. Decide that since it was 5th Sunday I would just let the kids play this week. Headed to Sunday school. Stopped and picked up Caitie and one of her friends. Late for sunday schoool :( Then a few minutes of Praise and Worship and on to Children's Church were they played and played. Then to Walmart. Subway for lunch and shoes for Timothy. Home to make deviled eggs for the picnic as I didn't care for the cake. Head to the picnic. Arrive late cause the friend of Caitie's we are bringing forgot her swimsuit and we had to go to town to get it. Picnic fun from 3:30 to 8 pm. Swimming, food, kayaking, horse shoes, lots of talking. The friend wants to stay the night so I have extras again. Monday we have chores to do. Housework, yard mowing, and animal care.  Then we are headed to a friend's for a cookout for Memorial Day. Tired hot and sweaty but quite I bit done. Run Caitie's friend home and drop Timothy off at a friends house. Head home to get a few more things done before cook out. Friend calls she has cut her hand pretty bad and is in urgent care getting stitches. We can cook out another day I say. Great now I have time to go to the grocery store maybe it will be slow since everyone is cooking out. Sit down for just a minute ... oops dozed off. Phone ringing. Back from urgent care and her family pitched in and got everything ready. Stitches in and hand bandaged cookout is back on. Pick up Timothy and head over there at 4 pm. Swim and chat, good food, good people. Head home around 7 pm. Stop at Walmart to get some things we need for lunches. Home .... whew... tired. Call my mom and can't stay awake on the phone. Fall asleep on the new couch at 9 pm it is comfy!

Fun weekend. Busy weekend. Man I am glad that is over LOL!


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Buying things you don't know what are at yard sales.

So I was at the Relay for Life fundraising yard sale today. I bought all kinds of little things. I even bought a couple things and then forgot them. Glad it was going to a good cause LOL.

Anyway while I was there I came across these little plastic things. I decided they were jello molds of some kind and I had to have them. Now that I have them I am looking at them and have no idea what they are. I keep trying to figure out what I bought. So for today's blog we are going to play What is it?

There are 3 of these on a rack. Anybody?


Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I saw this on my friend Andrea's blog Live with Laughter. I thought it looked like fun so here goes
10 Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1. I much prefer cats over dogs.

2. I hate the heat. I would live in Alaska or Montana or somewhere with almost no summer if Dan would go.

3. I am scared of having my head underwater.

4. I always wanted to go by my middle name because I thought it would be cool to have a name that could be for a boy or a girl.

5. I love to camp. It is one of my most favorite things to do in the whole wide world.

6. I love to eat venison but I honestly don't know if I could kill one unless I was starving.

7. I was born with out a sense of smell. This is called Congenital Anosmia.

8. I love the preschool kids show Peep and the Big Wide World. Sometimes I watch it when I am home by myself when no one can see me.

9. I played the clarinet all through school and I just bought one so I can play again.

10. I don't really care much about what I drive but all I need is air conditioning and a way to get from A to Z. But I love classic cars and if it made sense for me to drive one everyday I would.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am in a bit of a funk. Not a "oh my life is horrible everything is awful funk" while I do have those on occasion. No this is a "my allergies are kicking my butt, my head hurts and I have a million things to do funk".

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself because I am not getting as much done as I want with my time off. I know there are the reasons for that. I underestimated how long it would take to get these projects done and didn't factor in my overcommitment outside the home.

So now I have two choices I can sit here and think about all the things that aren't going the way I want them to or I can stop, breath (yeah right see the above written note about the allergies), and choose to be thankful.  That is right CHOOSE to be thankful.  That is what I am going to do. I will not focus on the negative stuff today. I will put on some good music not funk enhancing music (yes I have a playlist for that) and I will focus on the things in my life that are amazing! I have a lot of them.

So instead of something I am thankful for today you get a list. Not from my thankfulness journal but just a list of things I am going to choose to be thankful for today.  They might have been listed before but since I need a boost today if I think of it it goes on the list.

  • My cat who is curled up beside me.
  • Coffee
  • Dan.
  • Timothy always up early and getting himself out the door even this early.
  • Lamentations 3:22-24
  • Baby chicks.
  • A roof over my head.
  • Food in my pantry.
  • A garden growing.
  • Cars that run.
  • Washing machines.
  • Clothes lines.
  • Rain.
  • Electricity.
  • Last night was the last night of Awanas.
  • I am playing softball Friday.
  • Friends who get me.
  • Dan's new job.
  • Kayaks.
  • Dog out in the fence instead of in the house.
  • Caitie up this morning with no "Oh but I am so sleepy".
  • VBS coming together.
  • Eggs.
  • Ollie's.
  • Yard Sales.
  • Newington Baptist Church.
  • The Tuesday night bible study.
  • Friday morning coffee.
  • Red Birds.
  • My patio.
  • My porch.
  • My mom hopefully coming to visit.
  • Plans.
  • Caitlyn Burris (she makes me smile)
  • Jim Evans sticking up for boys who need someone in their corner.
  • Our entire group of 5th graders. Youth group will be a whole new world.
  • Amy.
  • Cell phones.
  • Having the house to myself for a couple hours.
  • Everyone home.
  • Pancakes.
Okay that is all the time I have to make this list. I have way to much to be thankful for to sit around in a funk. So I will keep making the list in my head all day long and choose thankfulness over funk.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vacation "Bible" School

Did you know that Vacation Bible School doesn't require a bible? Did you know that you could be a VBS leader and teach the "bible" story and not even open up a bible? At no point during the curriculum for the week does it say "Open up your bible and read to the kids Mathew 2:2"  (I just chose a random verse there so I am hoping I didn't pull a Tim Hawkins and post some crazy verse about loins. And if you don't know what I am talking about do yourself a favor and google tim hawkins "my favorite bible verse" it is hilarious). The program we purchased offers a nice packet for each leader and it has all the stories and verses you need. That makes it so much easier to pull your lesson together.

But here is the thing. At what point do the kids get the message that the Bible matters? It is Vacation BIBLE School after all. Are we teaching that the bible is the divinely inspired word of God? Or are we teaching them stories. I do believe that the kids need to hear the message in as many was as possible. I believe they can be taught through song, through drama, through play, and even through snack (who doesn't love a good snack lesson) but at some point they need to see that all this comes from the word of God not some pull out lesson sheet from Group Publishing.

I think this is a big thing for me because this has always been the hardest part for me to grasp. The idea that these words where not Paul's words, Mark's words, or John's words but God's words spoken through Paul, Mark, and John. I mean WOW a message for all time straight from God. How amazing is that?

Many churches are actually moving away from this idea.  When I google divinely inspired to check my spelling (Thank you God for google and spell check) I ran across a wikipedia article that talks about how the "modern" Christianity has moved away for the idea and believe that the Bible while a sacred text is not the divinely inspired word of God. This is not the message I want to sent to these children that have been entrusted to us for instruction.

Don't get me wrong here. I LOVE a preplanned prewritten lesson. I am a BIG fan of the verses put up on the screen during the service. I like studies like the ones Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer write that help us to put our Faith into action in everyday life. But there comes a point in each study, in each VBS program, and in each Christians walk when you need to crack open the Bible and see what God Himself has to say.

I hoping that this year anyway we can work on this. I have a meeting with my Pastor this morning. He is doing the "bible" story for the snack area for VBS. We are working on a plan to simplify the snack and use that time to actually pull out the Bible and let him teach the story they are spotlighting for the day. I think this would be a great option. Then we will have it taught in song, games, drama, and from the Bible itself. I feel pretty good about this and as director I am hoping I can set a precedent for future years.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Man Behind the Curtain

I wasn't going to post this over here. I had decided that I would post it over on Anosmia Stinks instead since it is a bunch of rambling insanity.  But the more I wrote the more I decided that I would post hit here on Simply Complicated as well.

My life is crazy. Simply put. I am pulled in a million directions. The bad thing is I have signed up for every single one of the things that are making me crazy. I need a just say NO intervention. If I don't have a thousand things to do I don't know what to do with myself.

Well as GI Joe says "Now you know and knowing is half the battle" or as Dr Phil says "You can't change what you don't acknowledge." So time to slow down, look at all my commitments and trim down a bit.  Just like the "nothing in unless something goes out" rule I need with stuff in my house I need the same rule with commitments.

Anyway if you are bored and you want to, hop over to Anosmia Stinks and read all about it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memorable Moment Monday (Pudgie)

My mom has lost both her dogs this week. Abby her sheltie was only 4 years old and losing her was a big surprise. Ginger her other dog is literally lost but she is very old and very ill so my mom is thinking maybe she went off somewhere so she could die. It is so sad to lose a pet. They become such a part of our lives. Thinking about my mom losing them both got me to thinking about the dog we had when I was growing up. Her name was Pudgie. She was a pug pekingese mix and she was a mess.

She climbed up trees. Notice I said UP. She would climb the tree them whine and whimper till mom would get her.  She used to say "water" when she wanted something to drink. When I was little I had a kitten who was deaf (white cat blue eyes) and Pudgie used to help her safely cross the street. It was the funniest thing.

The thing I remember most about Pudgie though is something you probably won't believe. At one point we lived in a house behind my Dad's office. The property was fairly good sized and the crews would do work there on days they didn't have any work to do on the rigs. There was an intercom type thing installed that sounded over some kind of speakers outside. Pudgie would go back in forth with my mom from the house to the office. One day my mom came back home and didn't realize she had left Pudgie in the office. The dog got up on the desk, pushed the intercom button and barked until someone came and let her out.... no kidding.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

7 Tips to Avoid Messing up the Space-time Continuum

I love SciFi movies. I have watched enough of them that I feel confident I could survive just about any situation. Meteor headed for Earth... no problem I know what to do. Sun burning out...easy fix. Giant Ants attacking the city... I am your woman. Mongolian Death worms look a bit like giant maggots to me so I can tell you what to do save yourself, the city, and the treasure they are guarding but I am not coming close to one of those things.  My all time favorite theme though is time travel. LOVE time travel movies. One of my favorites was on earlier today and that got me to thinking.  I really need to share my knowledge of time travel with you so if you find yourself accidentally lost in a previous time you won't mess up and ruin the present for the rest of us.

So here it is :

Michelle's 7 Tips to Avoid Messing up the Space-time Continuum

  1. Do not kill anything. Something as simple as squashing a butterfly can mess up the Space-time continuum and then when you come back to the present the world will be over run with giant monkey/dinosaur things.
  2. Do not bring anything back with you.  Not only will it not be where it is supposed to be possibly causing the giant monkey/dinosaur disaster as listed in #1 but it doesn't belong in the present and can cause cause all kinds of mayhem.
  3. Do not speak to anyone who could possibly be connected to your present. If you do you could cease to exist as your Dad will never meet and fall in love with your mom and you will never be born.
  4. Do not try to "fix" history. You can't do it. There are three possible results- 1.  Because you killed Hilter an even worse evil villain is born and the alternative is even more heinous than he was. (See the giant monkey/dinosaur referenced in 1 and 2) 2. Another evil villain does EXACTLY the same thing as Hitler because the space-time continuum rights itself. 3. Because the proper and correct reality will not be denied you aren't able to kill Hitler instead you are killed and everyone knows if you die in the past you die in the present so just don't do it.
  5. Do not leave anything behind.  This can not only cue the whole giant monkey/dinosaur future but it really confuses the hound out of the people who live in the past.
  6. Do not give anyone in the past weapons from the future. This changes the results of wars which messes with the current world political climate. I really don't want to live under ohhh say Mayan rule so no matter how unfair you think their demise was don't give them a machine gun.
  7. Do not give people suggestions for great things to invent. Not only is the past not ready for these inventions but they might blow something up once again resulting in the giant monkey/dinosaur version of the present.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Sonnet 43

Today's blog is all about Dan so if you aren't into sappy sweet stuff you might as well stop reading right now

I used to know this woman who was constantly saying how wonderful her husband was... "Bob"cooked her breakfast that morning, "Bob" bought her the perfect gift. "Bob" got up at night with the kids. Your husband didn't take out the trash "Bob" would never forget. It was insane. So when "Bob" left her we were all like I knew it no man can actually be as perfect as "Bob".  This has caused me to always feel a need to add a qualifier when I talk about how wonderful Dan is. He isn't perfect. He hates to haul trash and forgets to add salt to the water softner. There I complained a bit so you will know I am not making the rest of this post up :)

I could give you a list about a mile long about how wonderful he is. It takes a man with the patience of Job to live with me. I know this. Dan has this way of handling my more insane moments in a way that levels me out. He never squashes my idea. It is like he grabs the tail end of the tornado and goes along for the ride.  But at the same time he doesn't forget that once I have blown through the idea I will be done with it. He has this calm way of pointing out all the details I skip over and of keeping me grounded.  He is there for the kids at their band concerts, games,  and other school functions. He helps around the house.  He loves his family.  He tolerates my animals. He has a wonderful work ethic. I seriously could keep going. I think after 14 1/2 years married I should be getting tired of him by now. Especially as hard as it is for me to stick with anything. I am not!

But none of the above stuff is what prompted this post. Nope of all the things I love about Dan none of the above are what I love most. What I love most is so simple. What I love most has nothing to do with grand gestures, money spent, trash hauled, or salt added to the water softner. What I love most about Dan is that he makes me smile. No matter how tired, irritated, frustrated, or crazy I may get he always makes me smile.

When I have one of "those" days. You know the kind. A day were my greatest wish would be to pack a small bag get in the car and drive far far away from all the craziness, bills, chores, people, kids, school, work and so on. Well when I have one of those days it is never Dan I want to leave behind. He has to come with me. If he didn't who would keep me grounded and who would make me smile?

♥ U Dan


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

I am positive it was just a couple days ago I was writing a Thankful Thursday post. Where did the week go?  So anyway Time Flies and all that.

What am I thankful for this week? This week I am thankful for a smooth job transition for Dan. So far it is going pretty well. I am glad to say that he seems to like it.  I am loving being at home and getting somethings accomplished. It has been a mostly quiet week and I am grateful for that as well.

A few things from my journal:

  • Swiss Chard
  • 5min video
  • Pigeons
  • Quiet
  • School buses
  • The Wild Rabbit
  • Friends to laugh with


A New Favorite

As I have said before I LOVE music.  I like most kinds of music. I am not a big fan of Rap although there have been a few Rap songs I enjoy. Music is a very emotional thing for me. I can push my mood one way or another based on the music I listen to. My love and fascination with music is all the more amazing because I have no musical talent at all. I guess some people are just made to enjoy the talent of others.

Today I found something new that I love. Being a technology junky I love what people are doing with technology and music. I have seen so many videos lately where one person does all the parts of a song and then puts them together. I think it is so amazing. Then this morning I came across these guys (thanks Tara) and just listened and listened and listened. I am in love. Their music will be the newest addition to my Ipod.



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Love/Hate relationship with the English Language

I love words. I love to read. I love to write. I love to talk. Truth is I love the English language but I have to say ...  I HATE grammar.

I was talking to a friend the other day and we were talking about my run-on sentences (is that run on or run-on I think it has a hyphen). So anyway we talking about my sentences that go on and on and I was telling her that it is just that when I write the blog I write what I am thinking and I pretty much think in one long run-on sentence so that is the way it comes out in my writing I mean come on anyone who has ever heard me talk knows that I only stop when I have to because I absolutely positively have to stop to **gasp** breath.  Truth be told since I don't have to breath to keep thinking like I have to in order to keep talking my thought sentences are WAAAAAYY longer than my speaking sentences. That is why I reread the blog and break the REALLY long ones down into a couple (like 4) sentences before I hit publish post. Usually.

But it isn't just run-on sentences. I HATE commas, semicolons, colons, and so on (I do however LOVE ellipses and parentheses in case you haven't noticed). I personally think they are a waste of time and effort. The rules for when to use them keep changing. They break up run-on sentences. I usually don't bother to use them.  It isn't that I don't know how. I don't know how many people know this and I realize you probably can't tell it from my blog but I actually am a good writer. I have won awards for my writing even. The problem is writing in an award winning way is too much trouble. It requires me to proof read. Who wants to proof read? Not me. I am sure that some of my friends (yes Heather I mean you LOL) read my blog and feel the need to pull out a red pen. 

I just felt the need just one time to point out that I know how to use all the nifty little marks that you use to make it all correct. I know how to spell (or how to use spell check anyway) I know the difference between to too and two and their there and they're. I know alot isn't a word. I just don't care.

And now as I write this I am thinking of my brilliant gifted son who said to me the other day "Why should I have to do this stupid math homework. I have been doing this math since third grade and since I know how to do it why should I have to do all these problems? Since I know how to do it this is such a waste of time" I understand young son I truly do.

But since I am a grown up and noone is grading my blog I don't have to if I don't want to so ... Take that English teachers of the world. In your face!


3 in 30

3in30 Challenge

Everyone knows I am working on a plan for my time off from work.  A few weeks ago came across this blog where you choose three goals and work on them for a month. They have what they call "weekly link-ups" where once a week they post a blog about what they have done that week to reach their goal.  I LOVE accountability so I decide to jump in and join thier challenge. I didn't post the first couple weeks as I was watching and figuring out how things work.

I am not sure if I will "link-up" with the main group or not since there is some tweeting that comes with it and one of my goals for the summer is LESS PHONE! I have spent so many years between Real Estate and Water Softners where my cell phone wasn't optional. Now that it is optional I only want it to ring when friends are calling to invite me to coffee :)So anyway I am a little iffy at this point with the link-ups but I decided it wouldn't hurt to share my plan here for accountability instead.

For me the hardest part of this challenge is narrowing my goals down to three. I thought about making it 9. You know with a theme of 3's. Three catagories with three goals in each LOL. The idea of only having 3 goals when I have about a million things to do is hard to stick to.  I am going to try though so here are my three for May. I have already been working on them and while I got it down to three I have to admit one of them was vague enough to kinda include a bunch of others (do you think that was cheating?).

  1. Get the house organized enough that the kids and I could play this summer.
  2. Weed and maintain the garden.
  3. Finish 1 class and complete my PCE application in school.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

No Power.

In 1996 there was a movie that came out called "The Trigger Effect". The basic story line is that power goes out, stays out for days, no one can function, everyone freaks out, chaos reigns.

It wasn't a very good movie truth be told, but the message behind it stuck with me.  Now every time the power goes out for an unexplained reason I think about that movie. Do I have cash in my pocket cause without power the bank won't give me any.  Do I have all my medication cause without power the pharmacy can't look it up and can't process the insurance. Do I have plenty of gas cause the pumps won't run without power. Do I have water because my well doesn't work without power.  I have cox phone for my land line so no power equals no phone.

I just think how dependent we are on electricity and it is a little scary. I don't sit around worrying about it or anything. But when the power goes out it always flashes through my mind.


Monday, May 16, 2011

I love good plan!

Today should be Memorable Moment Monday but I am having a hard time coming up with anything.  I think there is too much going on in the present today for me to focus on the past.

Dan starts his new job today. I made it through both kids birthdays without losing my mind. I got all those stupid clothes done. I do need to spend a bit of time to day putting the house back in order but for the most part my whole "holding pattern" issue is resolved. I have one month where I will be at home with no kids and today is all about creating a plan for how I am going to make use of that time. I know we can't realistically do nothing but play this summer but I don't want the whole summer to be me saying "No we can't do that I need to __________."

I also don't want to completely forget we have responsibilities and do nothing but play all summer. There is just as much danger of me doing that. However, what is likely to happen is for us to be on a see saw all summer. Today we can't do anything but work work work.  Today we do nothing but play! Today nothing but work! Today nothing but play! Up and down, up and down. That is kinda stressful and crazy so once again I am looking for some balance.

So today is the day. Today I get to make a plan for the summer. As I have said before, I do love a good plan. At least I love to make a good plan.  That reminds me of something Patsy Clairmont said at Women of
Faith a few years ago. She asked if anyone in the audience was a crafter. Then she said that she loved crafts. She loved to shop for craft stuff. She loved the possibilities of what she could make. Then she said she doesn't craft. She said "I am not a crafter, I am collector of crafting supplies" LOL That would be me. "I am not a person who follows a plan, I am a creator of plans" 


Okay I was looking for a picture to put in the blog today and it when I saw the one I used above it made  me smile. I know I can make all the plans I want but they could all be pointless. You know the old saying "If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans"  I know there is a bigger plan at work and I also know that I need to remain flexible because no matter how much time I spend planning God's plans are sooo much better than mine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Seems like Yesterday (Happy Birthday Timothy)

So it is official. As of yesterday I have a teenager. It is hard for me to imagine but it is true. This week in May is always crazy.  With Caitie's birthday on the 10th and Timothy's on the 14th it like birthdaypalousa around here.  This year was pretty low key.  We are at a point where we are too old for kid's birthday parties and too young for party parties so we pretty much just had cake and hung around.

I know everyone says they grow up so fast. But I am telling you  it really does seem like just yesterday I was planning the nursery.  Shopping for train pictures and bedding and buying every baby gadget that we "needed" in order to bring him home.

I was so blessed to be able to stay home with the kids when they were little. I have a million memories I treasure of each and every new accomplishment. I wouldn't trade a single moment of the time we had at home together.

I have enjoyed just about every single stage we have experienced.  Some I was a little happier to get through than others. Some I can't believe how sad I was to see them go. I will never forget the first time I heard Timothy say "lemonade" instead of "lemalade".  I was heart broken.

I know we are just heading into the teenage years and I am sure we will have rough patches but for right now I can tell you I like the young man I see Timothy becoming. Love ya Timothy!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pulling out the weeds (Lessons from the Garden)

This is yesterday mornings post. Because Blogger was down I wrote it in word and saved it. I have decided that is the way to go for you other bloggers out there. It will allow me to save posts incase blogger eats them.

I was out in the garden this morning weeding my beets. I had managed to keep down the weeds in between the rows but I had to let the beets get a bit larger before I could pull the weeds that were around them.
Pulling those weeds was a very tedious process. I had to be very careful of the small tender beet plants. It would be easier of course just to let the weeds grow with the beets but that doesn’t work. I tried that last year. I was so afraid I would damage the beets that I left the weeds that were growing right next to the beets.  What ended up happening is the weeds overtook the beets. They stole the nutrients the beets needed to grow and then as the weeds got bigger they overshadowed the beets and didn’t allow them to get sun.  At that point it was too late to pull out the weeds because the beets and the weeds were all tangled together.  
My beet plants are still tiny now as are the weeds so I am trying hard to stay on top of it this year. I am looking at the end result. The harvest.  I realize that I might have to sacrifice a few beets to get the weeds out. It is better to lose a few small beet plants than to lose the whole crop later.
That got me to thinking. That is how unhealthy habits and toxic people embed themselves in our lives. They start out small.  At first maybe we don’t do anything about them because we aren’t even sure if they are good or bad.  Just like when the beets and the weeds first come up I can’t tell them apart. Then they are so small they seem harmless and there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to get rid of them.  Then as they grow they become so much a part of us that they are all intertwined with the rest of our lives. Just like these weeds had some of their roots intertwined with some of the beets.
 I even noticed that in some cases when I pulled out the weed the tender little beet shoots couldn’t support themselves. They were leaning on the weeds for support.  We do that too don’t we? We try to build healthy habits on top of bad habits using them for support. Then if you remove the bad habit the good stuff comes tumbling down.
But just like in my garden last year, if we let fear keep us from getting get rid of the bad stuff eventually the bad overtakes the good. You can’t grow a healthy life if you allow the weeds to keep growing. Eventually the bad stuff will pull your energy and focus away from the healthy stuff and choke it out.  So even though it is tedious and painful, even though we risk damaging what we are trying to grow, we have to diligently remove the junk.
If you remember I posted about weeding the beets a couple of weeks ago.  That brings up my final point. Just like weeds, bad habits are tenacious.  Just when you think you got it all done… Surprise they are back!  You know you can’t just remove the weed at the surface. You have to get the roots or sometimes it will grow back. The same goes with the unhealthy stuff in our lives. Sometimes we think we got it beat. But we left just enough root to allow it to grow back. Sometimes we got it all pulled out and a friendly well meaning bird will poop in our garden leaving behind new seeds of the old weed and there it is back again.
Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it? Constant weeding. Pulling out the junk. It is a lot of work.  But we just have to keep our eye on the end game. We aren’t doing it just to be doing it. There is a purpose.  I am doing the work in the garden now with the harvest in mind. So it is with life. We focus on what we want our lives to be. What direction are we headed in? We have to do the work now to have the future we want.  If we continue to let the bad habits grow the same as the healthy ones we risk our future harvest.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Like Mother Like Daughter (scary huh!)

I had the funniest conversation with my mother today. We often lament the craziness that is our lives.  I have very little doubt where my ADD comes from.  It is so funny because we were talking about taking our medication. She was saying she doesn't understand why she has such a hard time remembering to take it. We talked about how annoyed we get with well meaning people who suggest things like "put it by your coffee" or "put it with your toothbrush".  I know the fact that it isn't that simple doesn't make sense to those of you who suggest it.  I know that it should work.  Guess what. It doesn't.  I am not even going to try to explain why. Just know if it were that easy I wouldn't need you to make the suggestion :)

Then she tells me she was supposed to be cleaning house today but instead was doing windows. Let me tell you, I get the whole empty the closets to clean the house thing honestly.  Then we get to talking about journals.  I LOVE journals. I have ton of them. I like to write in them for a week or so and then stop. I am always finding journals where I write about how I can't believe I didn't write in my journal. What does my mom have? A journal where about every 3 years she writes a post about how this time will be different and she is going to write in the journal. 

And Mom so you know I agree. It is great to know there is someone else out there at least almost as crazy as I am LOL.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursdays (What a Week!)

This has been one of THOSE weeks. You know the kind. Where you feel like you have spent the whole week chasing your tail. I haven't been able to stop running but I feel like I haven't got much of anything accomplished. When you factor in major life changes over the last week or so with our jobs, two kids Birthdays, and regular life junk it has been a tiny bit of a stressful week.

I don't deal with the unknown very well.  I started to say with change but that isn't true. I deal with well layed out fully planned change really well. It is all the unknowns that get me. So what I have been feeling all week has very little to do with being thankful. That is why I am so glad that I started this thankfulness journey when I did. It has helped to keep me focused on the good things around me and the benefits of Dan's new job and a summer off with kids for me.  I am not going to say I have had a worry free great attitude this week, but it hasn't been half as bad as it could have been.  So I guess this week I am thankful for being thankful LOL

Here are some things from my journal:

  • Cool days
  • Rain
  • Burn Piles
  • Antivenom
  • Audio books
  • Caitie's Birthday

  • Dan home for a few days
  • Birds singing
  • Clothes on the clothes line


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parkinson's Law - Work expands to fill the time available

So I have been off work for a week now. I thought I would have got so much more accomplished than I have. I know that what is going on here isn't exactly what Parkinson meant when he created his law but I figured it sounded better than "The ever expanding black hole of house work that sucks up all the time available" as a blog title.  So how is it that I allowed the work to expand to fill every minute of my day now that I am not working?

The biggest part of my problem is the crazy way my brain works. My house was a little messy. I had a plan for getting it under control. What was my plan? Pull EVERYTHING out of all the closets and start by cleaning them out. Okay I admit at this point my house is a little bit worse off than it was before I started. (Okay MUCH worse), but if I ever get done it will be rockin' awesome clean! But right now? My house is a disaster. An absolute out of control disaster.  And I can't work on the outside when the inside is such a mess. That means I am losing control of the garden because I am working crisis management inside. Maybe this wasn't the best plan. It is however my normal way of doing things. So here I am now, sitting in my living room surrounded by piles of folded organized clothes and coats that I have no idea what to do with wondering what happened.

I am behind on laundry and dishes and everything else because I got this crazy idea and then lost control of it. Just imagine if the Cat in the Hat were in charge of your house.  That would be me and don't you feel sorry for my poor family LOL.  The smart thing would have been to get everything cleaned up and then do the closets little at a time. Well that's logical isn't it? Too bad I am not. Oops here is that all or nothing thinking creeping back in again.

Parkinson's Law seems be true and accurate. Work does expand to fill the time available. So I guess the key is to have a plan, a schedule, and only allow a set amount of time for the work to be done. The work didn't expand by itself and I am never gonna get to the fun stuff (garden, flowers, and painting inside) if I don't limit the amount of time I spend doing other stuff.  I can't think "Oh now I have ALL day to clean house". If I think that then I will allow the work to expand to fill the whole day.

So what do I need? I need a plan. Exciting. I LOVE a good plan. And as crazy and rambly as this blog has been today (thanks to those who stayed with me) this is where it led me. I NEED A PLAN. I can't just start out each day and work all willy-nilly. If I don't have a plan for here like I had for work nothing will get finished. Parkinson's Law will be in full effect and I am going to end up HATING this time off. I used to have a plan when I stayed home when the kids were little and that is what I need now!

Whew! I feel better. I am off to make a plan and then to get busy getting things finished! And I know where to go to get one. Ever heard of Flylady? She was all the rage back when I was a SAHM. I bet she is still around and I bet the plan still works!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Caitie!

Today is Caitie's 11th Birthday. 

Hard to believe my baby is going to be headed to middle school next year. I have such mixed feelings about this growing up thing.  I miss having little people running around.  I really like where we are though. It is fun having people in the house to hang out with.  Caitie is a really funny kid and that makes spending time with her fun. Truth is she is a lot like her dad.  I also thinking that it is all happening way too fast. I know how cliche' that sounds. How many times has someone said enjoy this while they are little they grow up so fast.  I know that while each stage was going on it felt like it would last forever. But as I look back it truly does feel like the years have flown by.  I am sure that the next few years will go by just as fast and I will be helping her pack for college before I know it.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Memorable Moment Mondays (Red Birds)

I have been surprised as I write the Monday blog each week how many of my memories are connected to my grandmother.  I spent a lot of time with her when I was little. I have nothing but wonderful memories from the time I spent at her house.

This morning as I was sitting out on my patio I was watching the birds. I have a huge collection of birds that live in my yard. Every morning is like a symphony out there.  I was watching a pair of cardinals play and that reminded me of her. She loved the "Red Birds" as she called them.  We have actual red birds here that are different than cardinals but in my mind when you say red bird I think of cardinals.

So as I was sitting outside this morning watching the cardinals thinking about how much she would have enjoyed them (if she actually had of slowed down enough to see them) I heard the rooster crow and that made me think of her. Then my mind drifted to the garden and all I need to do out there and that made me think of her also. I am not sure how many times people have heard me start off a thought with "My Mamaw always...."

I miss her. I am glad she went when she did, where she did, the way she did, but man I miss her.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

So today is Mother's Day. It didn't quite turn out as I had planned. I was going to call my mom first thing this morning. Instead she called me to tell me my brother had been bitten by a snake and was being taken in for surgery. What was going on with him kinda consumed the morning. I have talked to her more than once today but I just realized I never got the chance to wish her Happy Mother's Day. So here it is:

First of all Happy Mother's Day mom! I can't even begin to tell you what my mom means to me so I am not even going to try.  All I will say is that if I could change one thing and only one thing about my life right now I would move my mom here so I could live near her.

Love ya and miss ya mom wish you lived here and not there!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Short Lane Ice Cream Company

Okay if you know me very well you know I am not a big fan of ice cream. I don't hate it or anything but I am just not a big fan.  However, I have never turned down an invitation to Short Lane Ice Cream Company.  Short Lane makes all their ice cream in house. It is yummy yummy yummy!  But best of all they have all kinds of cool stuff for those of us who aren't head-over-heals for ice cream.

Like Gelato. Now where gelato is concerned I am a BIG fan. If you have never had any do yourself a favor, get in your car, drive to Short Lane and get some NOW! It is lighter than ice cream but still creamy and yummy. It reminds me of ice cream made in an old fashioned hand turned ice cream maker.
Or Italian Ices. Much better than any others anywhere around.  Really tasty.

So Timothy had been begging for Short Lane for days and we promised to go today so off we went. Caitie got Fatal Chocolate. Dan got Cookies and Cream, Timothy got Mint Choc. Chip all in waffle cones. Then here is where I messed up. I always get the same thing, Vanilla Gelato.   I decided to be adventurous. I got butter brickle in a waffle cone. It was good. I enjoyed it. But I wanted gelato.  I still want Gelato. I am guessing another trip to Short Lane will be in my future!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Holding Patterns

Limbo (lmb) - an intermediate place or state.

Man I hate being in limbo. It just feels like our whole lives are in this crazy state of wait right now. Dan is starting his new job soon.  So many things are kinda iffy right now. We will be changing insurance. Twice! The company that hired him went through a staffing company so for the first 90 days we will be under their insurance then we will switch again to the company's insurance. We are trying to figure out stuff like his 401K... but we can't do anything with it until he actually isn't employed there anymore.  Can we take a vacation of any kind this summer? Who knows? We are waiting to see.

We are also in a crazy money wait right now as well.  We aren't sure how the whole last paycheck/vacation time/ect. is going to work and I am afraid to spend any money on the off chance things don't go the way we plan. Did I  mention both kids b-days are next week?  Right now I know EXACTLY how much Dan's check will be every two weeks. That is going to change. Hopefully for the better but still I can't really plan anything yet... limbo.

I have chicks hatching. Slowly. Over days. I am ready to bring them home but I am waiting until they all hatch. I am not good at waiting.

We aren't sure yet what the next school year is going to bring.  Eighth grade at the High School? Band? Guitar?  What time will it start?  What teachers will the kids have? I know all the Peasley teachers but none of the Page teachers. All we can do is wait to see.

I have no job. That was the plan. I would stay home this summer and then go back to work in the fall. But that means I don't have a job in the fall yet. But I can't apply for jobs and tell them I want to start work in 3 months.  But if I wait until fall what if I don't find one? Just thinking about it makes me anxious. There are a couple of jobs I said I would take right now. Either the job itself or the pay is good enough for me to change my plans. I have interviewed for one and did two phone interviews for the other. But I am waiting to hear.

Waiting. Limbo. Holding Patterns.

I am trying really hard to be patient.  I am trying to enjoy my time off. I was really looking forward to it. I don't want to spoil it with worry.  I know worry is useless.  I know God is in control. But somedays I really curse this whole free will thing. It isn't that I don't trust God. I don't trust myself to make the right choices.  Somedays I just think..."Okay God You are really gonna let ME make the decisions? What are you thinking!"  But I also know that ultimately if I take the time to listen He will help me make the right choices.  I am trying to take advantage of this experience.  Call it an exercise in trust. I trust that if I blunder the whole thing God will somehow make it all turn out right.

I am holding on to an old song that a friend reminded me of. I have it on my ipod in a contemporary version by Ginny Owens. I am listening to it over and over.  I am determined not to let the waiting get to me. I read a thing that said "Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting". I am working on that.

Here is the song in the version I have:

Be Still, My Soul
Artist:Ginny Owens

Be still, my soul,
The Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God, to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul,
Your best your heavenly friend,
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul,
Your God will undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake.
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul,
The waves and winds still KNOW
His voice who ruled them while he lived below.

Be still, my soul,
Be still, my soul,
Be still.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

It really is Thursday this time!

I am still laughing at my mistake last week when I posted Thankful Thursday on Friday. Honestly the weeks the kids don't have school on Monday I am discombobulated all week.  Anyway here it on Thursday this time.

I have chicks hatching! This is exciting for me for a few reasons.

1. My daughter doesn't call me a crazy chicken lady for nothing LOL I am excited to have more chicks!
2. These eggs came from the hens that the dog killed so I am glad to have their chicks that makes them really special to me.
3. My friend Kim is incubating them for me. This is such a neat thing she is doing for me. I didn't even ask her to do it she is the one who talked me into it. I didn't think there was a chance the eggs would hatch.  I am really thankful to have met her and to have had a chance to become friends with her. I hope I am able able to repay the favor some day.

Now on  to my list for this week.  Here are some things I wrote in my Thankfulness Journal this week.

☺Babies given a chance.
☺Children rescued.
☺Purple Flowers
☺Rocking chairs outside
☺A new fence
☺Clean MRIs for a friend
☺Bags for the shelter
☺Rain for the garden
☺Baby chicks hatched


Wednesday, May 4, 2011


My plans for this morning have changed. That isn't always bad. My plan was to sit out on my patio and have cup of coffee and a bit of quiet time then head out to the garden. However, I barely even got myself ready to head out and the sprinkles started. While my gardens needs to be tended today it needs the rain more so it is a good trade off. Plus everyone knows I LOVE the rain.

So I picked up my coffee and my computer and headed for the front porch. I love my porch.  I was sitting in my rocker and then I realized that I was driving the wrens crazy.  We have a wren family that lives on my porch. There is a mom, a dad, and at least 3 babies. They are living in the top of one of those topsy turvy tomato planters I tried last year. It is weathered and ugly but I can't replace it till the babies fly away.  Anyway my rocker is near the planter and those poor parents wanted me to MOVE!  I moved to the swing and then sat and watched them what a great morning! Except....

Our driveway is circular. In the center of the circle I have a bed of Day Lillies.  When we moved in here there was a beautiful tree right in the middle of the circle. That tree was our one casualty of Isabell.There is a new tree growing there now. It isn't in the exact center.  That might not be a big deal to most people but lack of symmetry drives me nuts.  Everyone who knows me well knows I need things to be symmetrical.   At our former church we had these banners that hung on each side of the pulpit. They changed them with the season.  These things were so high it took an extension ladder to hang them.  Anyway one year when they took down the Christmas ones and put up the everyday ones they got one on the wrong hook and they weren't even.   I didn't hear a sermon from then till Easter when they changed them.  All I could think about every Sunday was that they weren't balanced.

Symmetry defined as: a sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance.  This is what I need to feel at ease. So as I sit here trying to enjoy the rain, my pretty blooming azaleas and the wren family I am also trying not to look at the tree that is off center. I am trying to see the beauty not what I consider  imperfection.  And then I start to wonder why am I like that? 

Amy is always telling me that we both need balance. Neither one of us do balance very well. Funny thing is as much as we are alike we are often on the opposite ends of the seesaw when it comes to life. I think that is why we are friends.  We help balance each other out.

I am kind of an all or nothing kind of person.  That makes my life difficult in many ways. Because as Amy says, I am lacking balance. If I volunteer I volunteer too much. If I don't have time to do the big job I don't volunteer at all.  If I am cleaning, I deep clean. If I don't have time to deep clean I don't clean at all. When I am working I either work 60 hours a week and do nothing else or I don't work at all. When I diet I do it well and lose weight fast but I do nothing but plan meals and look for recipes and count calories all day.  I am either overly permissive with my kids or I am too strict. Go big or go home right?  The problem with this is that life doesn't work this way. I can't work on school work to the exclusion of housework. I can't volunteer to the exclusion of school work. I can't do housework to the exclusion of work. I need symmetry!

This got me to thinking that maybe I look for symmetry everywhere else because my spirit is craving it in my life. I don't believe God wants us to live life on a rollarcoaster. That is too exhausting. And that is what life without balance feels like. I am not sure what the answer is. There is a part of me that says you can't do things in half measures and if I can't focus all my efforts on one thing nothing will get done.  There is another part of me that knows it does no good to focus all my efforts on one thing if everything else is falling apart around me.   So I as I move into this new phase whether I end up working or not working I need to remember that this all or nothing thing isn't good. I need balance.  


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Overwhelmed! Joy or Junk?

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I didn't even realize it until this morning. I should have realized it yesterday when I didn't get anything done. I had plans to get so much accomplished and then I just kinda wandered around. That is a sure sign for me that I am near the end of my rope. It is probably no surprise all things considered.

It has been a crazy couple of months.  Starting with our crazy chicken disaster and ending now with them killing Osama Bin Laden this has just been a whirlwind time.

The tornadoes that hit Gloucester and then Alabama/Georgia the following week consumed the news for days.  Horrible loss that brought a community together in an amazing way.  Loss of life and home was all you saw when you turned on the TV news. 

The school board trying to decide what to do about the school.  A new schedule with Timothy having to leave the house at 6 am.  The poor Page kids having to go to school till 6:30 pm. Next year moving the 8th graders to the High School. It could be 3 to 4 years till this is resolved.  Some parents are angry, some are scared about sending their young 8th graders to an already overcrowded environment. (that would be me).

Then the horrible news came.... a little girl found in a make shift cage in her home here in Gloucester.  5 or 6 years old they say no one is sure as there is no record of her birth. They say she looked to be around 2 years old and was malnourished and filthy. Kept in a dark room. There was also a baby in the home. He was in good condition. It is good that he was taken care of but makes the girls treatment all the more bizarre.  That was bad enough. It was a couple of days later that the next news came. They found another child's body buried at the house.

With all of this in the news plus regular life:

 Caitie is headed to Middle School in the fall. I am trying really hard to imagine that my baby is old enough to go to Middle School.  I am finding it a bit of a challenge. 

I am also the VBS director this year and that is starting to kinda loom over me. Add to that Relay for Life which is about to get crazy, our garden that I love but takes a lot of time and two kids birthdays in the next two weeks. I have baby chicks and now it looks like my eggs from the old chickens might hatch. Wow! Now if that isn't enough.... Dan is changing jobs and I quit mine. Okay good changes yes but still!  That means worrying about things like insurance changes, financial changes, and schedule changes.

Then yesterday it was announced that there had been a threat of a shooting at GHS today. Who announces that they are going to go to school and shoot someone the next day? They have increased security and I am praying for the kids at the High School today.

So as I sat out on my patio this morning having my coffee and my quiet time I realized why I am so close the edge. I don't know how you react to stress/overwhelm but my reaction is to shut down. I quit getting things done and read read read. I don't go to church, bible study, meetings, or lunch with friends. I don't clean house or do school work. I stop looking for the Joy and wallow in the Junk. Well I am working on an alternative strategy this time.  It is funny I tend to let myself get to this point without even realizing how I got here and then wonder why I am having a "bad" day.  So this time I am going to continue to write in my Thankfulness journal which I haven't written in for a few days. I am going to continue to look for the good in the insanity that is my life right now. I am not going to cocoon and stay home. I am going to push through and be productive.

Funny how God works. As I was finishing writing this and trying to decide how to follow through on this today when what I wanted to do was ... well nothing, I had a call from a friend. Could I come hold the baby while she goes to her doctor's appointment. Hmmm could I come and hold a brand new life that is more of a miracle than I can begin to tell you in this blog. She had might as well said "Could I give you the hope you need today?" instead of "Can you do me a favor?".  So off I go to hop in the shower and get dressed. This is going to be a good day!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Memorable Moment Monday (The Big House)

So today I was thinking about all the things I remember from when I was small and trying to decide what I wanted to write about.  That got me to thinking.... Have you ever wondered if you ACTUALLY remember something or if you have just heard the story so often you think you remember it?  I have a couple of things in particular that are like that. When I was small I got gasoline in my eyes.  Now there are things from that age that I do remember no doubt and I will write about them in a minute since they are today's topic.  But the gasoline thing I am not so sure about. If I close my eyes and think about it I get flashes of a paint brush in a red Folger's coffee can and sitting in front of a big swamp cooler so the cool air would blow on my eyes. I just can't decide if that is a memory of what happened or if I have heard the story of getting gas in my eyes so many times I have filled in the blanks in my mind.  Who knows just something to think about.

So on to today's Memorable Moment Monday.

My grandparents owned two houses in Rule. The two houses sat right next door to each other. One was little one was big. So being a family of huge imagination we dubbed them .... you got it "the little house" and "the big house".  We lived in both.  We started in the little house and them moved to the big house. I really don't remember living in the little house but I remember the big house well.  I really couldn't pick a memory to write about because as soon as I think about one a bunch flood back.  So here is a list of things I remember from the big house.

  • Big flowered wallpaper.
  • My mom had the coolest laundry room in that house.
  • I remember stubbing my toe and my mom put me up on the dining room table and put peroxide on it and it bubbled.
  • I remember riding my big wheel on the sidewalk in front of that house.
  • There was a grape vine on the side of the house and I used to play under the grape vine.
  • I remember my grandfather (my mother's father) bringing me a doll for Christmas while we lived there. I think I got that big wheel I mentioned earlier the same Christmas.
  • I remember watching Sue walk to school from there.
  • I remember when Doug was born. I was so scared because they wouldn't let me see my mom. Somehow that memory is all tied up with my Dad and a hamburger and sneaking in to see her but I am not sure if they snuck me in to see her or snuck in a hamburger LOL what I do remember is that I wanted to run tell all the neighbors he was coming home and how glad I was to have my mom back home.
It is funny I was right around 4 when we moved from the big house but anytime I go back to Rule I have to drive by to see it. It is in horrible disrepair now. It probably needs to come down before too long but still when I drive by there or if I stop and prowl around it still feels like home.