Thursday, September 21, 2006

What would you do?

So, Jonathon came home with a snake today. Brandon finally found one for him and he came right up to me and held it in my face and said, "Look Mama, I have a snake!" I wasn't really prepared for this information and in response said, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" Perhaps you would have said differently, but I think that is about all it takes to respond to the 5 year old holding the snake!

(I promise the pictures of the hike will come)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sorry it's been so long.

Ok, I realize that many of you have checked my blog a few times now and found nothing new. This is not due to a lack of activity around the house to blog about, but rather a lack of ability to sit down and tell you about it. So I'll give you a basic synopsis of some interesting events recently- which, due to the short nature of the post, will not do justice to the experience, but you will KNOW about it.

Activity 1: We went on a family hike last Saturday. Up the mountain...all of us...and made it to the tree line. (I should have some pictures to follow up on this one, but I'm too lazy to go upstairs and get the camera and come back down and load them.) We had a great time and I was only majorly sore the next day instead of incapacitated. It took 2 1/2 hours to get to the tree line for a view and then we stopped and had lunch- muffins, cheese, and pistachios, oh...and plenty of water. Then we came down and that was about an hour and a half. How did we get up there you ask? Well, Brandon carried Jeff a lot of the way in a pack on his back and I carried Rachel in a Snugli (a baby carrier) on my back. Jonathon carried the muffins in a little back pack most of the way up and the rest of the water and food I carried in a back pack on my front. I'm sure we were quite the site, but due to the slow pace we took, I hardly ever was close to short of breath. We spent a lot of time looking a critters and old trees and sticks that resembled sling-shots, and seeds, and rocks. Yes, Jeff especially liked the rocks. In fact, when he was walking he wanted to climb to the top of every rock sticking out of the ground and jump from it. For those of you who have taken the Dublin trail before, you will know that this was an extremely time consuming procedure as there are many rocks every foot of the way and he was determined not to miss any. So, we hiked and they loved it and I came home invigorated, yet tired, and a happy mama who had spent some great quality time with the people I love most!

Activity #2: I cleaned house this week. I've been working on getting some clutter out of the way for a while, but always it seems that I accumilate it faster than I can get rid of it. So, for the last 3 weeks I've been working on various areas of the house trying to get them to look a little more tidy. Then, this week, I ordered a cleaning video- partly to watch again and partly for the Bible School- and watched it to remind myself of all the good tips on how to thoroughly clean something fast. I was reinspired and found myself reorganizing the cleaning supplies, ordering some new ones, and of course, cleaning the house. I dusted and scrubbed and by Friday, things around here were shining more than they had in a while. Some of you may think...A cleaning video? Well...I can only say that I watched this video when I was about 12 and found myself so inspired that I asked for cleaning products and tools for Christmas that year. It really is a helpful tool and I enjoyed being excited about it all over again. The particular video is put out by The Clean Team ( and they have some great methods and tools to help speed things along and still do a great job. Sometimes I wish that they had a program like Pampered Chef or Tupperware or something so I could sell their products to people because I would! But, alas, they keep all the money for themselves- and I suppose that since they don't have a bunch of middle men, it makes the prices more reasonable, so that's good too. Anyway, it any of you ever want to get excited about using a toothbrush on the toilet seat, this is for you. I honestly believe this is the closest anyone can come to "loving" to clean the bathroom! ANd if you want encouragement to clean, just get me started on the subject and I'll have you inspired in no time!

Activity #3: We had a relatively normal week in which Jonathon came home with 13 caterpillars in his shirt pocket one day, asked me to help him catch 2 snakes he found another day (I did NOT help), and came in with a bucket of wild apples, for me to make pie another day. James only went to the bathroom outside 3 times this week that I know of- and both he and Jonathon learned to read a few little words this week. Jeff is still trying with all his might to be potty trained and thus takes his pants off at any given moment and then goes looking for a potty. Brandon says this routine will cause him social issues later in life, but I'm hoping that we'll conquer the problem before it's seen as a social issue. Rachel is babbling lots of sounds lately that sound like they should be words and she thinks they are. She will come up and say some sort of sentence that no one can possibly understand, but then look at me expectantly as if I'm to answer her question logically. Actually, Jeff does the same thing, but I do recognize his words occasionally.

Ok, so that's some of the happenings for this week and hopefully I can come up with some for next week soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Top Ten Things I've Learned This Week

1) Alcohol gets red permanent marker off a green duvet cover, but it does not get it off of white plastic drawers.
2) Itty bitty syrofoam balls go a long way when dumped outside.
3) They also find all sorts of places to hide inside and take a while to vacuum.
4) Rachel really likes sweet potatoes and fresh corn and can eat as much as I can.
5) Tree surgeons (or removal services) are fascinating to watch- especially the crane.
6) I never want my child to be a tree surgeon.
7) You can never sweep the kitchen too many times after Brandon has cut the grass.
8) Half a bowl of cereal and milk can create a puddle on the floor at least 2 feet wide as well as soak an entire bib and skirt.
9) Diapers don’t change themselves.
10) There will NEVER be enough hours in the day for me to get EVERYTHING I want to do finished. I should just make shorter, more realistic lists.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Superwoman Does NOT Blubber!

It’s true, I watched a few episodes of this particular superhero when I was younger and never to I recall tears running down her face! She also doesn’t seem to loose her temper. Even in the event of a world crisis, she stays calm, collected, and rational- fighting the enemy with poise, intelligence, and strength. She can also change into some snazzy clothes by spinning around really fast, and for some reason I still find myself in need of a closet and a changing room. I say all this to point out that I came to the conclusion that I am indeed not superwoman and…while that’s ok- this is a post to declare the other side of our story- the “everything isn’t great all the time” side.

For those of you who are faithful blog readers, you will notice that I posted my last post on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, the world came crashing down around my ears and I failed to do the spinny thing, change clothes, and go defeat the evil powers that be. I waited until today to post so that it wouldn’t sound so despairing that you would be depressed afterwards, because I was helped out of the chaos also.

I always speculate about what causes such events and maybe it was the fact that I had had the children almost all by myself for an unusually long stretch- from Thursday evening until Wednesday morning. Brandon was involved in retreats, meetings, and other such business. Perhaps it was the struggles of character issues with the children as previously mentioned. It could have been that I was just tired. Some would chalk it up to: “Oh, she’s just pregnant.” Possibly, a horrific trip to town Tuesday afternoon did it, or the fact that the muffins burnt in the oven Thursday morning while I was trying to stir the eggs, flip the bacon, get Rachel out of the cupboard, and keep Jeff from getting burnt by bacon grease. Whatever it was…I lost it- and superwoman was not there to tell me how to properly deal with the situation. Since she was not there, I resorted to my childhood tactics- which my family knows all too well of yelling, name calling, slamming things around, and storming out the door. Unfortunately, I stormed out at the same time Brandon was supposed to be LEADING the 9am meeting and thus he was obliged to go put someone on the spot to lead it since he had just been stuck with the children quite unexpectedly.

I found myself sitting in the car (it’s quiet, away, and somewhat sound proof) praying and telling God all of my woes and distress. After pouring it all out, I came back inside and Brandon listened to be pour it all out again. We prayed and then that was it. I look back and my practical mind says that nothing really happened and that I didn’t get many answers for my issues- yet we did pray and somehow, that met the need all by itself. I did feel much different, nothing about my situation changed, but somewhere, something changed- and made a difference because of prayer. I still was a bit discouraged and later that afternoon I was lifted from that as well thanks to the Patch the Pirate CD in the car. The children and I were headed to a play date with some other moms and while we were riding a song came on with words something like this:

Walking on the water-
Stepping out by faith upon the sea.
Listening to my Savior,
When above the storm he calls to me
Trusting in his power
When the waves are crashing all around
Walking on the water.
Stepping out by faith.

It occurred to me that when Peter became frightened by the waves that quite possibly they were “crashing all around”. In fact it was the first time that I visualized the wave he was scared of as possibly close enough to crash ON him while he was walking. Yet Jesus said for him not to look away and to trust. Hmmm…the wave IS crashing on me and yet I am still to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him not to let me drown!

Somehow that met my need and I prayed again asking for help to trust even when it didn’t seem like it was the logical thing to do anymore. It met the need and while things aren’t espcially different, having a different attitude changes all sorts of things.

So, I did have a bad day- or a bad morning- a REALLY bad morning, but Jesus got me through it to the other side and I am trusting that he will continue to do things like that.

Besides if I were Superwoman- I wouldn’t need God and that doesn’t sound appealing in the least! Hmmm…I don’t think Superwoman had clutter either, but I can work on that.