Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Just Pretending

Just something cute that I wanted to jot down before I forgot it...

We were sitting at the breakfast table this morning and Mary Alice looked like she was deeply thinking about something.

Mary Alice: "Isn't God a miracle?"

Me: "Yes, I guess he is."

Mary Alice: "He is the REAL Creator, mom."

Me: "What do you mean?"

Mary Alice: "We like to pretend that we are creators. We like to pretend that we are in charge. Create means pretend."

Me: "What do you mean?"

Mary Alice: "Well, we like to create that we are grandmas or mommies or princesses or something, but we aren't really creating. God is. He is the Creator and is the One who is in charge."

I thought, "Wow!" That is something that I don't even get sometimes, remembering that I am not in control, but am just "pretending" that I am in charge sometimes.

One more note: Mary Alice also said that she does not like to create (pretend) to be a Grandma. Why? Well, because she doesn't like to have short curly hair, of course!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Well.... today has been an incredibly eventful day, full of fun and surprises...

Yesterday, I decided that Major might be getting sick. He hadn't slept very well the night before, and anytime Major doesn't sleep you know that something is amiss. He had a cough and a very slight fever, but was complaining to me, telling me "ear hurt". I am a person who doesn't like to take my kids to the doctor at the hint of a sniffle. In fact, I think that many people take their kids to the doctor's office WAY too often. In the event that any part of Major's ears are involved, however, I always feel compelled to call the doctor right away. So yesterday, I jumped through several hoops to get certain medical records sent to a new pediatrician (something I thought had already been taken care of because I requested the records--IN WRITING__SEVERAL MONTHS AGO, but then found out that our old pediatrician's office never sent them to the new office). Anyway- I got an appointment for Major with a new pediatrician for 11:15 this morning.

On the way to the pediatrician's office, Major started crying and whining continuously. This is uncharacteristic of him, but I chalked it up to him being sick. Mary Alice played a little mother, giving him his sippy cup of water and comforting him as he cried. We got lost, due to our lame Mapquest map that didn't know that major road construction was occurring about five miles prior to the pediatrician's office. We waited on a funeral procession for several minutes. We also waited on a string of ambulances. When we finally arrived at the pediatrician's office, I could see exactly where we were and realize another way to get there that bypassed the road construction. I also realized that we were about 15 minutes late. Oops. I entered the building holding Major and my diaper bag on one arm and half dragging Mary Alice with the other arm. We walked through an atrium and into the pediatrician's waiting room. Just as we opened the door it happened.....

Major threw up...all over himself, all over me, all over my keys, all over the door to the doctor's office, all over the place. I was totally stunned. I thought Major had a little cold and did not come to the doctor's office prepared to deal with anything like this. I looked up to see the crowd of people in the waiting room. Half of them looked like they were thinking, "Bless their hearts! How unfortunate." I noticed several of the ones sitting near the door hurry to scoot their little ones away from any possibility of contamination. Those people had a grossed out look on their faces.

I am a slow reactor to shocking situations, but thankfully, I quickly backed into the atrium, where the floor was hard and vomit would be easier to clean (as opposed to the carpeted waiting area). I looked around desperately for a wastebasket. All I could do was to hold Major out and let him throw up on the floor. It was really very sad. I looked up and saw an old friend of mine from college emerge from another door and into the atrium. I haven't seen this girl in a long long time. She looked at me and said, "Hey there! It's good to see you!" Then, when she realized that I was right in the middle of a predicament, kept her kids at a distance, apologized for my situation, said, "Nice to see you!" and then quickly exited the building. What a rotten way to reunite with an old friend.

When Major was finished throwing up, I sat him down and started cleaning him off as best I could with wet wipes. I decided to peel off his clothes, because there was no way I could really get him totally clean. An office worker came out into the atrium and started cleaning up the mess. She offered Major a clean t-shirt. She also offered one to me. Mary Alice came out into the atrium and read The Cat In The Hat to Major more than once, which kept him still and interested. We decided to stick out the rest of the wait time in the atrium, just in case. The people there were so nice to us. One woman in the waiting room offered to sign us in. Another woman offered to let the front desk know that we were not in the waiting room, but sitting in the atrium. I apologized to the poor girl having to clean up Major's vomit. She was so gracious, saying, "I was glad to get out from behind the front desk for a while. I usually answer phones." Yeah right, but she sure was sweet to say that to a frazzled mother with two young kids.

As I sat there, listening to Mary Alice read The Cat In The Hat, I was thankful for God's kindness to me in several ways.

1- First of all, Major didn't throw up in our car.

2- I didn't know that he was going to throw up, so I was thankful for that too. I was already panicked enough, due to the fact that we were lost, running late, and behind ambulances and funeral processions. That might have sent me over the top to have known that my son was about to throw up.

3- He threw up right as we walked into the pediatrician's, allowing me to step quickly back out into the atrium. It could've been all over the waiting room carpet.

4- It was warm outside today, so I could peel off his clothes and let him sit in his diaper without him getting cold.

5- The people at the pediatrician's office (patients included) were so kind to me and really helped me out of a sticky situation (literally).

6- Major and I didn't have to wear reeky t-shirts, but instead wore ones that read, "Camp Holy Cross School-Springfest 2005" The people at the office must have been Christians with t-shirts like that.

7- Mary Alice didn't mind reading Major's favorite book to him, several times.

8- Mary Alice didn't get throw up on her. (That is debateable, according to her. She thinks it got all over her legs and shoes. I think she has a vivid imagination.)

9-When I stepped into the office, Major threw up and I had to step back into the atrium, it allowed me a chance to see an old college friend. I definitely would not have seen her if we had gone in and been seated. Of course, it was not an ideal meeting circumstance, but I'm looking for the good in that one.

10- God blessed us, for the first time since my kids were born, to go to a pediatrician that we chose. Yea!!!

11- Major has slept from the time we got home and is still sleeping now. I am so thankful that God is granting him sleep to help him get well.

Little Major does have red ears and will start a round of antibiotics today. Isn't it great that our kids have the option of antibiotics? I hate to think of what illness was like before those were invented.

I guess that is it for our eventful day. I am hoping for no more crazy surprises.

Monday, February 13, 2006

On A Lighter Note...

On Saturday, Josh and I went to a VERY fun Valentine's party. Josh's parents came down to watch the kids so that we could go out. The entire party had been planned by husbands and the events of the evening kept a secret from all of us wives. We ate dinner in a room at La Madeline. Everything in the room was decorated so well, thanks to one of the girls' husbands, who has a natural flair for decorating and party planning. It was so nice to get away for a night and be with some of our friends, Ross and Jamie, and a chance to get to know some people from their church. The husbands all shared their engagement stories with the group. Each husband had also filled in a little card with what they would do for us "because they love us". So, Josh recommitted to a gift he gave me last year. Last Christmas, he gave me the gift of competition. I'm very competitive and not particularly good at reading my Bible every day. He agreed to "compete" with me to help motivate me to stay in the Word. We had a little game going, and would ask each other every day, "Did you read your Bible yesterday?" He always won the game every month, but it really helped me to be a daily Bible reader (or almost daily) last year. So, for Valentines' Day this year, he recommitted to read every day "against" me. So sad that I am so motivated by competition, but I'm glad that he is helping me to do what I know I should be doing anyway.

One of the wives in the group decided to throw a little something extra into the party. She thought that since the guys were planning the party, we girls needed to participate. She enlisted all of the girls in the class to compete against each other in a little writing contest. Her instructions were that we were to write about our husbands merits, describing what makes him "Mr. Wonderful 2006". She asked that we be witty, creative, and entertaining. Being that I love a good contest and especially love being silly, I was naturally thrilled about this contest. I knew that there was NO WAY I was going to be sappy and sentimental in my composition. I decided to do something a little different from the norm. At first I considered writing a poem, but thought that might not be witty enough. Then I decided on a song, but then realized that I would have to sing it in front of a group. No thanks. Finally, I decided to change the lyrics to an old beloved ditty that many in my generation know well. I went to Vanilla Ice for my inspiration. I just thought it would be fun to share my handiwork with my blogger friends. So here it is:

(To Be Rapped To the Tune of “Ice Ice Baby”--) Crowd Participation Strongly Encouraged on Chorus

Yo, VIP, Let’s kick it!

Nice, Nice Baby…
He is my Nice Nice Baby….

All right stop
Collaborate and LISTEN
My hubby’s back from a dental CONVENTION
Comes home, grabs a hold of me TIGHTLY
He’s workin’ hard… daily and NIGHTLY..
Will he ever mop?
Yo, I don’t know.
I sing high and he sings low.
Other girls’ hubbies are chumps and VANDALS
Mine serves me dinner with CANDLES…

He can DANCE.
And He eats my food
Even when he doesn’t really like MUSHROOMS.
Whatever I cook, he says it’s good
He does everything well, like I knew he would.
Love him, I love him
It won’t go away
He takes the kids out in the yard to play
If there was a problem, yo, he’d solve it,
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

Repeat Chorus

Now that our kids are jumpin’
And my face looks tired and my headache is pumpin’
Quick to the help is my wonderful helpmate
Jump in the car and go on a date.
Goin somewhere like the Amon or KIMBALL
Even just keepin it plain and SIMPLE
With an old hat or a souped up t-shirt.
We’re on a roll, I’ll never go solo.
We’re ROLLIN, he is a 10.0
The windows stay up so my hair won’t blow.
The girlies at his work are
Waitin just to say hi,
Will he stop?
No. He just walks by.
It’s me he’s pursuing and he won’t stop
He busts a left to the flower shop
The flowers were dead-- Yo

So we continue to a good mall with a --- SAKS 5TH AVENUE!!!
He thinks I look hot even in a BIKINI,
He thinks I look nicer than a LAMBORGHINI,
You should be jealous
Cause he’s so fine
My hubby is a 10 and yours is a 9.
ATHLETIC …. big strong, and tall,
I bet you can’t beat him at a game of baseball.
SMART, like Alexander Graham BELL,
Grabbed him, he’s mine
And I know him well,
FALLIN’ in love with him real fast,
He’s so great and he doesn’t pass gas.
Bumper to Bumper on his way to work,
Even when he’s stressed he doesn’t act like a jerk,
Lookin’ bad in my jeans,
You know what I mean?
He builds me up, makes me feel like a queen,
If there was a problem, yo, he’d solve it.
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

Nice nice baby….
He is my nice nice baby…..
Repeat Chorus

Take heed, cause I’m a lyrical POET,
I have the best hubby just in case you didn’t KNOW IT,
Mr. Wonderful is his rightful name,
He’s the obvious winner of this crazy little game,
He doesn’t need a chemical PEEL,
And the way he makes me FEEL,
He’s NUMBER ONE, an original concept,
This isn’t hype, he is SMOOTH,
My love won’t fade, He can slice like a ninja and cut like a rajorblade,
So fast, other wives say, “MAN! If your husband was a drug, they’d sell him by the gram!”
He keeps his composure when teeth are loose,
I’m magnetized by his smile and he likes orange juice.

If there was a problem, yo, he’d solve it.
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

Repeat Chorus 2x

Yo ! Let’s get out of here! Word to your mother!

I thought it was pretty fun to write this. I didn't win, but at least it was entertaining. If only I'd learned some of Vanilla's moves..... :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Real Downer :(

WARNING: If you're feeling down already, you may not want to read this. I am having a great deal of trouble being joyful in all things and struggling with being content in every situation. I am praying to be both of those things, but Satan is really trying hard to rob me of my joy in Christ and of my peace.

I feel very sad right now. It might be because we've lived here over 5 months and have NO FRIENDS. It might be because I miss my friends in our old town. One of my friends, Lindsay, calls us from Garland about every month or so just to check on us. She called us last night just to say that they missed seeing us in church last night. It is upsetting to me that our old friends (who haven't seen us in 5 months) call to check on us, but we don't have any friends who call us here.

It might be that we've visited the same church for several months but have never been invited anywhere. I mean, don't people go out to eat after church here? Do we look like weirdos or something? We are both very very lonely and discouraged. I keep wondering what God will use this for. Is He trying to tell us to look at another church? Is he trying to use this to make us stronger, so that if we do become a part of this church we can encourage other newcomers or help this place become more visitor-friendly. I've never seen anything like what we've witnessed here. Though the church is somewhat large, so was the one we previously attended. I miss Fred and Dottie White, an elder and his wife who took Josh and I under their wing while we were in Dallas. I miss our old friends. Why did we ever leave them???

Last night, I took the kids to church. Josh was sick and stayed home. I sat next to a woman who was older than my parents. She was so sweet and encouraging. I talked to an elder at the church who was super nice. I talked with an older man who makes it a point to come talk with us every week. There are plenty of nice people here. The problem is this.... we cannot seem to connect with anyone who is our age. There are plenty of people our age at the church, we just can't seem to connect with any of them. I suggested to Josh that we invite people over to our house to get to know them, that we be proactive. Who would we invite over since we don't know any of these people? Perhaps we could invite over the couple who is our same height or maybe those who have kids our kids' ages? Maybe we could have a little "mini-lottery" drawing? We could put the names of all of the people between ages 20-35 in a bucket and randomly draw one out each week? We could walk up to them and say, "Congratulations, we don't know you and have never talked to you, but you just won a special prize....dinner with our family!...... Of course we've never talked to each other, but we really need some friends and thought you might like to be one? Sound fun?" Since we've never said 5 words to any of these people, these approaches might not be quite right. I might tweak them a little and see what I can come up with.

I am very discouraged and just want to move back to where we belonged. Josh and I were talking and praying about it last night, trying to come up with an idea of how to handle this problem. He was talking about the people we had met and reflected back on our time at PC in Dallas, how we were warmly greeted by Michael and Kelly Taylor. Kelly wouldn't have let us leave church week after week feeling lonely. We remembered when we came to PC and Michael and Kelly invited us to their home and made sure that we knew that people were going out after church. We miss our old friends. I just want to go back to where our church really felt like a family and a home.

This church is desperately in need of small groups. It is so big, but there is no way to get to know anyone intimately. I dread going to church here, because we don't fit in with the people within a decade of our age. I don't think the people our age are being intentionally exclusive, it is my opinion that they are just busy. That doesn't make it hurt any less, though.

I am just at a loss as to what we should do and where we should go. I don't like feeling so self-absorbed. Poor pitiful us. Nobody will be our friend. But, seriously, a church should definitely be a place where you love and are loved by the people there. I had been warned before our move that finding a new church home would be the hardest thing for us here. I thought maybe that would be because we left a church with a dynamic speaker and music minister. Little did I know that that wouldn't make an iota of difference, but what would be hard was fitting in with the people.

This blog has been a real downer. That is because I am really down. One of my friends was commenting on her blog about feeling "unsettled". That is exactly what I am feeling right now. I am not looking for sympathy from people who read this blog. I do covet your prayers, though. I am feeling "unsettled", but also like I don't want to be settled anymore. I want to take my wagon and "settle" back at our old home. I left my heart there.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bald Men Can Be So Frustrating At Times

Just a few funny things the kids have been saying lately...

Funny Mary Alice:

Today, while on the way to the gym, I asked Mary Alice if she liked going with me. She said she loved it.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because you get to exercise." she said. "You must exercise. It is very important." she said.
"Why do you have to exercise?" I asked her.
"You must exercise so that your body doesn't hang out of your swimsuit." Mary Alice said.
Hmmm. I hope she didn't realize that by looking at me in my swimming suit.

Yesterday, on the way to church, Mary Alice was looking through her children's bible. She said, "I am turning to Max. Where is it?" Josh and I looked at her with a puzzled look. Josh told her that there was no book of Max in the Bible. "Oh yeah," she said. "I meant Acts." Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Max.... seems to follow the pattern of male names. Makes sense.

Mary Alice is very particular, almost obsessive compulsive about several things. She gets stuck on an idea and won't let it go. For about two years, her favorite thing in the world has been Disney Princesses. It can be really annoying, because she never wants to try anything new and especially gets freaked out with new movies. She finds something in every new movie that scares her or that she just doesn't like. It is very strange. Anyway- I guess Aunt Hannah was tired of watching Cinderella with her. Hannah tried to introduce a new movie to Mary Alice. ("The Princess Diaries") I actually have no idea what that movie is even about. So Hannah asked her if she wanted to watch The Princess Diaries. Mary Alice told Hannah that she did not want to watch it and would rather stick to Cinderella. I guess Hannah made her watch the movie, very certain that once she saw it, she would like it. When the movie was over, Hannah asked, "Well, Mary Alice, did you like that movie?" Mary Alice replied, "No, that movie frustrated me." "Why?" Hannah asked her. "That movie just frustrated me because there were too many bald men in it."
I have no idea where she got that one. I don't know if there are even any bald men in The Princess Diaries, but Mary Alice was determined to find something that she didn't like about it, I guess. Maybe someone who has seen this film can shed some light on this? Are there any bald men in that movie??? Or is my child just goofy?

A few days ago, I was telling a made up story to Mary Alice. The storyline involved a little girl whose parents prayed every night for her to make wise choices and to marry a godly man. Basically, when she grew up, she ended up having to make a decision between a man who didn't love Jesus and a man who loved Jesus with all of his heart. So- when I finish telling her stories of this nature, I always ask her questions to see what she understood and how this affects her, etc. So I told her, "Your Daddy and I pray every night for you to marry a man who loves Jesus with all of his heart. When you get older, do you think you will want to choose a man who loves Jesus or a man who loves himself instead of Jesus?" Quickly--- and I mean VERY QUICKLY-- she responded with, "I will go to Prestoncrest and marry Michael Collodi." Not the answer I was expecting. :( At least he comes from a good family. It just might work out, as long as Michael Collodi doesn't go bald. That would be very "frustrating" to Mary Alice. On second thought, one bald man may not frustrate her. It may only be bald men in numbers that make her anxious.

Sweet Major:

Right now, Major cracks me up. He answers every question with "Yes." or "ye ma'am." Very cute. It is especially funny when Josh asks him to do something and he responds with "Ye ma'am."

The other day, we were at a Christian bookstore getting a card for my sister. In the corner, there were some wooden crosses with three dimensional pewter Jesus' on them. I pointed to one of the Jesus figures and asked Major who it was. He said, "Jesus." It surprised me. I didn't think he would be able to identify a man on a cross as being Jesus. He must have picked that up somewhere. It is not something that I remember teaching him. It was encouraging to me that someone as young as Major already can identify a man on a cross as Jesus. Priceless.

I played Heigh Ho Cheerio with Mary Alice and Major a couple of days ago. They were so cute. We took turns spinning the wheel. I was trying to get them to take turns. Every time someone would spin the wheel, Major would shout, "My tun!" (my turn) He couldn't figure out the whole taking turns thing, but felt as if every time should be his "tun". Mary Alice (who really likes to abide by the rules) was getting so frustrated with him for "messing up the game". After playing several games, he finally got bored and ran off to play with his cars.

I went to a bookfair and bought some thinking skills books for Mary Alice. They help her with her weakness (which, like mine, is spatial intelligence). I bought this book that comes with attribute blocks, pattern blocks, and cubes. Mary Alice has to identify which shapes go where, which shapes are alike, sequences, etc. Well, Mary Alice likes it, but Major LOVES it. Last night, he had so much fun with that book and the blocks. You could see that he was really thinking it through. Mary Alice is definitely better at solving the spatial problems than Major is, but not by much! Major is my little problem solver.

I guess that's all I can think of that they've been up to lately. Life is always entertaining when kids are around.