Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving and The Hiney Story

This weekend we had tons of Thanksgiving fun! The whole family traveled up to Frisco to be with Mary Alice and Major's Grumpy, Nonnie,Uncle Chad and Aunt Miran. We did so many things that it seems too hard to narrow down, so I'll just stick with a few highlights...

Mary Alice and Major had so much fun at the area parks/playgrounds in Frisco. At one neighborhood pond over by my in-laws' house, they had fun feeding the massive amounts of ducks that reside there. Seriously. I have never seen so many birds and ducks all together in one little area. Mary Alice fed the ducks. She was way excited about getting to do this. Major, however, fed only himself, but had plenty of fun doing that. He would stuff his face full of white bread and than say "quack" or "duck" every once and a while. It was fun for the kids, but boy was I ready to get out of there! These white birds kept swooping down and circling overhead, waiting for the bread to be thrown. I was just counting the seconds until we were going to be pooped on or pecked. Yikes!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. Very very yummy. Josh, Chad, Miranda, and I went bowling at the Frisco bowling alley, which, by the way, is the nicest bowling alley EVER! We went to the movies with them, but I, personally, was much more entertained by Chad's antics than by the depressing movie we saw. We always have such a good time when we are with them.

A funny story about this weekend: Major was in the bathtub playing with some tub-toy alphabet letters. He was shouting out the names of letters. He looked at the W and said "W". He looked at the other letters, calling out "H"... "A".... "Q", etc. Then, all of a sudden, he yells out "Hiney!" I just looked at him with a puzzled expression, having no idea what he was talking about. He yells it again, "Hiney!" He looked up at the letters he had stuck to the side of the shower wall again and shouted, "Hiney!" He pointed to the sideways B stuck on the wall. Instead of a "B", Major called it what he thought it was, a "hiney". I laughed so hard. I guess he has heard his sister say that word enough that he has actually caught on to what it is. You might be wondering how and why my nineteen month old knows what a "hiney" is and exactly what it looks like. Just so you know, his sister has a "hiney dance" that she does on occasion (every night before bed) in which she drops her drawers and shakes her hiney at us to be funny.

Well, that's our weekend in a nutshell. I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with food, family, fun, and an abundance of good memories!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's All About The Food!

I LOVE this time of the year! I love the crispness of the air. I love the colors of the changing foliage. I love the atmosphere of high school football games. But, if I really get right down to it, what I REALLY gets me excited about the fall is the food. And I especially love Thanksgiving, when food is in such abundance. I love the football games, but what I really love is the hot dogs or nachos I eat at the football games. I love the State fair, but what I really love are the funnel cakes, the caramel apples, and any other kind of fair-time treat. I LOVE Thanksgiving, but what I really love are the pumpkin pies, the cornbread dressing, my mom's delicious and unbeatable salads, the ever-so-yummy once a year beef tenderloin, and the melt-in-your-mouth homemade rolls. I love all things seasonal when it comes to fall: pumpkin spice lattes, maple scones, sweet potatoes, spice cake, gingerbread. Yum!

Mary Alice and I were working together today, getting ready for the holidays. There is a window above the kitchen sink, where we were working. I had it opened up while we worked and talked there together. A cool wind was blowing through the kitchen, sending a fresh breeze into our little cozy corner. I was reminded of so many of my own childhood memories of Thanksgiving. They were memories of times spent in the kitchen, cooking holiday treats. As I looked at my daughter's smiling face, I was reminded that we were making memories of our own. Whenever I make homemade bread or pies (not something I do often), I always let Mary Alice make her own creations out of the last bits of dough. When I get tired of making things, she gets to knock herself out creating her own special treats. So sweet. She loves to feel like she is a big helper.

She already loves to cook. So do I. The thrill of making a beautiful feast for everyone to enjoy is one of my favorite things to do. I think my love for cooking came from doing it--constantly. When I think about Halloween, I recall making edible haunted houses, chocolate covered spiders, and other such spooky treats. Thanksgiving and Christmas also bring back memories of time spent in the kitchen, with my mom and sisters. Oh-- and Christmas music was always playing in the background as we slaved away in the kitchen. Lots of happy memories...

What a sad and miserable Thanksgiving day it would be to eat your turkey and dressing at a restaurant! A Thankgiving like that would be no Thanksgiving at all to me. I guess Thanksgiving is SUPPOSED to be all about family and being thankful for your blessings. I'll agree to that, just as long as I can have me some homemade pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear Itself

I think I need to see a therapist. It has recently been brought to my attention that I am afraid of everything. Many of these fears are irrational. I don't know if this is something that I inherited from my mother, whose paranoia ranges from travelling (anywhere) to being around strange people, or just something that is uniquely mine. I don't want to pass these fears on to my daughter, who I am starting to see is becoming, like me, a regular fraidy cat. So, in an effort to rid myself of some of these fears, I am making a list of some of them. I can't afford a psychologist, so maybe acknowledging these fears is the first step..

I am afraid of:

1) being hit by a train, while driving over train tracks.

2) being hit by a car as I cross the street.

3) snakes in tall grass

4) roaches, rats, and other pesky critters

5) flying overseas- the plane crashing in the ocean

6) my husband rear ending the car in front of us on the highway b/c he follows too closely

7) the eighteen wheelers that I pass on the highway: Specifically: a tire coming off and it swerving into my lane

8) the elevator door shutting on my kids' arm and hurting them

9) the elevator cable breaking

10) leaving my kids under the care of another person, something happening to them

11) not having any money at the checkout counter

12) talking to people I have nothing in common with

13) falling down the stairs

14) cutting myself when I am chopping vegetables

15) having a visible pantyline, or visible panties out of the top of my low rise jeans--- That is a real problem with today's styles!!!

16)wearing a colored bra under a light colored sweater

17) losing my vision

18) getting a fat potbelly and not realizing it

19) looking like a homeschool mom

20) letting my whole life go by and realizing all of the things that I wanted to do, but didn't and now can't do (for whatever reason)

21) not ever bringing anyone to Christ in my lifetime... in other words, wasting my life

22) not being a good enough wife

23) not being a good enough mother

24) not being disciplined

25) being at home alone overnight

26) someone breaking in and being unable to protect my kids

27) dogs (almost all of them) I was bitten by a dog at age three and have never cared for them since!

28) cats (They are nasty little beasts!)

29) Josh working with heavy tools. (I'm always afraid he is going to cut his arm off or hurt himself badly somehow.)

30) making the wrong decision

31) making someone mad (although there are a select few that I don't care if I make mad)

32) wells

33) my kids falling off of playground equipment

34) preventable accidents, that I failed to prevent

35) going bankrupt

36) Major losing his hearing

37) making my kids paranoid because I am that way

38) missing a God given opportunity to share Him with others, because I am afraid

39) our computer crashing and losing all of our kids' pictures

40) going senile and saying curse words at people (That is NOT who I am and I don't ever want to scare little kids by ever being that way. If I am senile, I want to be pleasant. Somehow, I don't see myself as being that way with no inhibitions, though...)

41) food poisoning (I am very vigilant about food safety.)

42) a gas leak (There is a funny smell in our garage right now... Could it be due to a gas leak? Josh said natural gas doesn't have a smell, but I'm still worried...)

43) someone calling on me in a classroom setting, saying "What do you think about...?" ( I hate that!!!!! NEVER do that to someone if you are teaching! If people want to comment, they will.)

44) getting skin cancer from a blister and freckle causing burn I got in junior high (Jessica Birchfield and I were having a competition over who could get the best tan. We both lost. We have the sunspots/freckles to prove it.)

45) having a party in which I have to sell something to my friends Don't even ask me. I will never throw a party for any sales-type event. I will gladly come, though, if invited.

46) any extreme sport

47) having a stalker ( I dated one for four years, so you'd think I would've overcome this one.)

48) snakes in lakes

49) being seen doing something gross

50) people thinking that my kids look like ragamuffins

51) any food that has a gross name: "puppy chow", "barf dip", etc.

52) Fear itself

As you can see, I have many fears. Now I fear that you will think me to be a nut when you read this list. Yet another fear....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Busy, Barfing, and Busted Up

Whew! Take a breath... Life has been crazy busy around here the last few days!

The house got sortof messy this week due to the fact that our weekend was so hectic! Really, we've had a no good, very bad weekend... But it definitely has its good parts too.

I'll start with Saturday. My cousin, Betsy, was having a baby shower in Houston, so I put on my best pouty face and BEGGED Josh to drive me down there. (He is so sweet. He knows I hate to drive at night, so it turns out he was going to drive me anyway.) So...we loaded the kids up and headed off.. The plan was to stay with my other cousin, her husband, and her two adorable boys, Kellen and Charlie. We arrived in Houston about three hours later, lugged our suitcases upstairs, and started playing with the kids. Sadly, we had only been there about ten minutes, when Mary Alice threw up all over my cousin's futon, all over herself, and all over Josh. Luckily, the futon had a zip off cover, so it was salvagable. We threw everything and everyone into the wash and packed up our things and turned around and drove back home. We were back home and in bed a little after 1:00. Fun trip. Very fun.

The kids were sick so Josh and I took turns going to church. Our car broke down on Sunday night with me in it. I had forgotten my cell phone. Thankfully, the kids were not in the vehicle or I would have panicked. A friend gave me ride home from church. Then our good buddies Ross Thomas and his brother Mark the super-mechanic came to our rescue. They fixed the car on no time.

A few days ago Major chipped a tooth at the mini indoor playground in the mall. There was foamy flooring all around. He went to the ONE part of the floor that wasn't foamy and fell. Ugh! He CONSTANTLY has a whopper of a bump on his head. I know people think I beat him, but I don't. His head is just attracted to the ground- like a magnet to metal. Well today he fell again. He wasn't running or anything. He just fell. He tore apart his frenum. I don't know if I spelled that right. That is the little flap of gums between your teeth and your upper lip. You also have one under your tongue. He tore his in half. Yep. So he has a chipped tooth and a fractured frenum now. Maybe my little Major can be a hockey player next year for Halloween. He'll already have the teeth.

So that is my crazy weekend and last few days... Several good things though... I got to cuddle with my kids. Kids are so sweet and needy when they are sick. Major is a momma's boy anyway, despite his Daddy's urging for him to be a tough guy. Today I had a long chat with a sweet new friend while the kids were taking their nap. So other than my kids illness and accidents, things are great. The kids are spending the night with grandparents tonight, so Josh and I even had a date night.

I'll be glad when Mary Alice's play is over. We really don't like to shuttle our kids all over the place all the time. We like things to be relaxed and non busy around our house, especially at nights when Josh is home.

I feel like I have been so rushed today, yet so so productive. I got lots of cleaning done and feel really proud of all I accomplished. I love the feeling of making a list and checking it off. We have more busyness ahead tomorrow with a doctor appt and dinner with Josh's old college roommate and his wife. Go go go. I feel like that is all we do sometimes. I really like to just hang out at home and catch my breath before the next wave of activity and mishaps hits us. Maybe Thursday won't be so busy.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Those Crazy Kids...

My kids are down for their nap. They have been so funny today. At times they seem like they actually love each other's company. It is such a blessing to finally be able to see them playing together and having fun. I am posting a few pictures of the silly kids from this morning.

A little bit of info on the pictures:

Major was crying for me to read to him this morning. I told him I couldn't read to him right then because I was busy. Mary Alice was so sweet. She said, "Come up here on the bed, Major. I'll read to you." She grabbed him and pulled him onto her lap and started reading book after book to him. So precious! I just had to run grab the camera, despite my busyness.

Yesterday, I taught Mary Alice the story of Gideon. In part of the lesson, I explained how God chose men to fight against the Midianites. Some lapped the water from the river like dogs, some used their hands, etc. Anyway- that explains the second set of pictures. Mary Alice dragged out my cake pans and filled them with water. I found her and Major in the bathroom, drinking out of my cake pans like dogs. She said that they were pretending to be Gideon. Again, I pulled my camera out to capture the memory.

What funnies! That silly Mary Alice.... You never know what she'll think of next!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Must NOT See Movies

Last week, while Josh and the kids were away, I was flipping through the channels on the tv, and came across the most hideously ridiculous movie. I saw a goofy looking clown with sharp teeth jumping around and trying to scare a group of junior high aged kids. It was one of the silliest things I'd ever seen. I flipped back and forth, between that and another show. Each time I would flip back to the channel with the silly clown, I would start laughing. Folks, there are some baaad movies out there. I don't see movies that often, but I know a dud when I see it. So- I decided to compose a short list of MUST NOT SEE movies.....

Movies I've Found To Be Utterly Worthless....

1) Dancer, Texas: The plot consists of a group of four people sitting in the middle of a west Texas road in their lawnchairs.

2) Shadowlands: Anthony Hopkins, I believe. Slow movement, slow music, slow. This is, however, a good movie to fall asleep to.

3) It: A silly clown movie in which a goofy looking clown tries to terrify junior high aged students.

4) Arlington Road: I watched this with my sister in law, Miranda. It is the only movie that has ever left me feeling depressed for days.

5) Superman IV-A Quest For Peace- I am a huge Smallville fan, so I do enjoy cheese, but this was just too much!

6) Heart of Dixie- I saw this in the theatre when I was about 10 or so. My little friends and I were so bored by this one that we entertained ourselves by performing gymnastic tricks up and down the aisle. (If the theatre wasn't empty when the movie started, it surely was by the end.)

7) Pee Wee's Big Adventure- Ironically,this was a personal fave when I was little. I made the mistake of insisting we rent it when Josh and I were dating. Some childhood movie memories are better left alone.

8) Dumb and Dumber or Dumberer (or whatever): I fail to be amused by bodily functions and etc. I know lots of people do not share my dislike for this movie, but I feel that the title says it all...

Feel free to add to my bad movie list. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Does God Ever Sleep? (Deep Thoughts by Mary Alice)

A little time in the car with a four year old can really make you think.... I spent a little time with Mary Alice in the car and got to hear her "deep thoughts" about God. Last night, on the way to play practice, our conversation went something like this:

Mary Alice: "Mom, does God ever sleep?"

Me: "No, Mary Alice, I don't think God sleeps."

Mary Alice: "Why not?"

Me: "Well, God isn't like us. We need sleep and rest so that our bodies can work well. God is so powerful. He doesn't ever have to sleep. We need rest. He doesn't ever have to rest, because He is so strong."

Mary Alice: "Then how come the song says, 'Day Seven, Day Seven, Then God rested in His Heaven?"

Me: "I think that means rest, like when we work and then we take a break after doing a hard job. God had just created the whole world, and He decided to "take a break" from His creating."

Mary Alice: "Oh... I bet He was pretty tired when he finished making the WHOLE world!"

Me: "Probably."

Mary Alice: "He had just made the WHOLE world! I don't know how He could do that! He must be pretty powerful! He can even count all of the hairs on my head and I know that that is hard to do. I tried to count all of the hairs on my head one time and I got too tired!"

Me: (laughing) "You're so sweet, girly."

(long pause)

Mary Alice: "Mom? Do you know how God puts the leaves on the trees? Does He use tape?"

Me: "I don't know how He does that. It's pretty amazing, isn't it? He can do all kinds of things that we can't do. He can do everything."

Mary Alice: "I can't figure out how he puts those leaves on. I think that is something I'm going to ask Him when I get to Heaven."

I think God is going to have a lot of explaining to do when Mary Alice gets to Heaven! What a precious reminder of God's awesome power from the mouth of a little girl.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Away From Home

Here are some Halloween pics of the kids. I'm still trying to figure out the layout thing, but at least I have something up there. They were so cute. We went to Frisco (where Josh's parents live) for their church's trunk or treat. The kids had so much fun getting lots of candy and seeing their grandparents too. Fun stuff.

This past weekend I went to Tyler, Texas to Pine Cove Camp for a women's retreat. It was INCREDIBLE!!! I always have so much fun around those girls. I don't know if everyone has friends like mine, but everyone should. I grew up sheltered much of my life, always churched, going to a Christian university, and even working at a school where the employees where predominantly Christian. Ironically, I never found girlfriends who modeled their lives after Christ in such a bold way until I was in my early twenties. I remember when we first moved to Dallas, Josh and I earnestly prayed that I would find some godly girlfriends. Within that year, I met these precious girls. God knew that I needed these friends in my life. Their actions and total reliance on God is so encouraging to me. They have such a passion for Jesus that really makes them "shine like stars in the universe". It was by His grace that I met these girls and we've been good friends ever since.

While I was in Tyler having so much fun with my friends, Josh and the kids headed the other direction to Lubbock to see my sweet nephew's one year old birthday party. When Josh got home last night, we were sitting around the dinner table talking about our weekend experiences. He was telling me about the trip down to Lubbock. Josh, Mary Alice, and Major were riding up to Lubbock with my Dad. Josh was driving my parent's car (a Toyota Camry) with Dad in the passenger seat and the kids in the back. They had decided to take an alternate route to Lubbock because of heavy traffic delays on the main road. So... they took some sort of alternate route that was a two lane road. Josh said that he was driving 75 miles an hour and went around a curve. All of a sudden he saw a pickup truck driving straight toward him in his lane. In a split second, Josh thought through what he should do: 1. swerve left (risking the possiblity that the truck would swerve back into his own lane and they would have a major collision), 2. swerve right and head off into a ditch (remember, they were going 75 mph), or
3. hit his brakes (which Josh presumed to be anti-lock) and swerve to the right. Josh decided to do number 3. As he hit the brakes, he realized that their brakes were NOT anti-lock and sent the car skidding and leaving him unable to control the direction of the car. Josh said at the last moment the pickup truck driver must have woken up or something, because he quickly swerved back into his own lane, narrowly missing their car. Josh said that they left "rubber on the road". He said that the skidding actually ruined the front tires of the car, causing them to make a very loud sound all of the rest of the way to Lubbock. He told me that if that driver hadn't woken up, they would have most certainly been hit and not survived. When he told me that, I started crying, realizing how my whole life could have been changed in that instant and so very thankful that God was watching over my sweet family. God is so good.

Sometimes we forget how very precious and temporary life is. This whole day I have been saying prayers of thanksgiving to God for my life and the lives of my family. Give your husband a kiss. Tell your kiddoes you love them. Remember to be thankful for the little blessings that God gives us every day. Every good and perfect gift comes from above.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Grinning From Ear To Ear

Before I begin, I need to note that there is a very noisy tuba player or something screeching an annoying tune outside my window. It is fairly distracting, but I will do my best to type my thoughts anyway...

I have always thought of myself as a pretty good wife. After all, I take good care of our kids, try to keep myself fit and reasonably attractive. I pray for my husband daily. The kids and I run to greet him at the door when he comes home from work with kisses and hugs. I keep the house and laundry clean (most of the time):). I cook healthy meals for our family. I wouldn't think of serving a frozen dinner, because I feel like I am doing something halfway. I make my husband's lunch every day and sometimes I even write lovey dovey notes and put them in his lunchbox. But, just recently, my husband pointed out to me that I was not being a helper.

I couldn't believe my ears! Not being a helper? I didn't really know how to respond to that. I really do try to be a good wife. But am I a "helper"? That really is my role. It isn't really my role to function independently of my husband, dotting my i's and crossing my t's, checking off the things that a "good wife" does, but rather to be a "helper" to him. It was rather insulting to me, mostly because I feel like being a wife and mother is my full time job. Just imagine if you are a teacher and someone comes in and says, "The students aren't learning. You are not being a teacher." What if you were an event planner and someone said, "You did a rotten job of planning that event. That was the crummiest party I've ever attended." My point is, being a helper is my job. If I am not being a helper, I am not doing my job. I am in the process of reevaluating right now to decide what will "help" my husband.

I thought about what had transpired in the last few months. We just moved to a new town recently. The day we moved I found out I was pregnant. (Very exciting, because we love children) I was moody and cranky for a while. (My husband says I blame everything on hormones, but they really did play a part) Ten weeks into the pregnancy, I had a miscarriage. I was moody and cranky for another period of time. (Again- I'm sure it was mostly due to hormones and not because of my grouchy, complaining heart :) Thereafter, I was overcome with sadness, moping around the house for weeks, complaining because we moved away from my cherished friends back in Wylie. My poor husband was having to deal with the move, a long drive to work, in addition to a bitter, complaining wife who lacked joy. A talk on the phone with a dear friend convinced me that I needed to change my ways. A life filled with the Spirit is a life filled with joy.

Sometimes it is hard when people tell you that you aren't doing a good job at something. While I think my little checklist (clean house, lovey notes in the lunchbox, etc.) is part of being a helper, I think I need to concentrate more on being content, thankful, and joyful. My husband is a wonderful man, he deserves nothing less than my best. So when he walks through the door today and looks at his wife, he may do a double-take. He is going to find me grinning ear to ear.

Thank goodness, that horrid tuba player has finally ceased his blasting!! (I am typing this with a big joyful smile! :)