Friday, March 23, 2007

It's Been A While

It has been a long time since I posted last. We've been out of town and the weather has been overcast and gloomy. I just haven't felt like posting lately. Every time I thought about writing something, I realized that the weather was making me feel gloomy and anything that I had to say would sound like Eeyore. The weather is still dark and dismal, but my mood is better, so Eeyore won't be making an appearance on this blog today. This weather is weird, isn't it? It looks like it is going to rain, but it never does. Maybe this weekend... I'm ready for the sun to come out so that it will feel like spring.

The last few days have been full of craziness!!! The kids went to stay with their grandparents in Frisco for a few days. Mary Alice cut her hair while she was there. She said it was "in her eyes". Whatever. Apparently, when she realized what she'd done she said, "Oh no! I'm supposed to be in a wedding in May!!!" Thankfully, the damage was minimal and can be easily hidden in her normal hairstyle. No biggie.

The kids had lots of fun with their grandparents and great grandparents in Frisco. Josh's Grandmother and Grandad had driven all the way from west Texas to see everyone. We had fun with the great grandparents and even learned that in his spare time, Josh's Grandad is an aspiring jewelry designer! Isn't that neat?

We spent Friday and Saturday night with Josh's sister, Miranda, and her husband, Chad. We visited our old, much loved, church on Sunday morning. It was good to see so many of our old friends again. So much had changed!! Anyway, we got to eat lunch with an elder and his wife from our old church. From the moment we arrived at Prestoncrest, this couple made us feel right at home. The elder's wife told me that she has been praying for me every day!!! Unbelievable! I thought that was so meaningful. I was thinking, "This woman is very busy, and knows so many people, and yet she has taken the time to pray for little ole me EVERY DAY!!!" WOW!!! So we ate lunch with them and caught up on each other's lives. I think it is so inspiring to see older couples who so unselfishly look to the needs of others. This couple is a wonderful example to Josh and me. I am not naturally gifted at making people feel welcome and special, but I want to try to develop that quality. I would love, one day, to be the kind of woman that this elder's wife is, someone who serves others so selflessly, and who shows Christ to every person who happens upon her path. Sweet sweet couple. One in a million.

Sunday night, we ate dinner with our old familiar gang. A few members of the Mesquite group were noticeably absent. That was sad. So some things had changed. It was like, for a moment, that we were transported back in time, a time in our lives that we dearly loved. We always love getting together with these special friends. Everything was great except for the temperature (too chilly-We were seated on the porch.) and the random smokemobile that was parked next to our table. We didn't look too closely for fear of getting shot, but noticed people getting in and out of a parked car. Each time someone would enter or exit, huge puffs of smoke would erupt out of the car. What was going on in there? I'd like to know. In a few more months, our old group will have changed even more with the addition of Baby Taylor and Baby Shuttlesworth. Looking forward to seeing what I'm sure will be some of the world's cutest babies and funniest kids! I fully expect that Legler/Shuttlesworth combo to be one cute little long legged monkey! Can't wait!

We came home on Monday and have been frantically trying to get back to a sense of normal. Mom's 52nd birthday was on Tuesday. We went down to celebrate with her for the day. Since then, for the most part, we have been at home blessed home--- my favorite place on earth! We've been out and about a little bit, but only when absolutely necessary. I always need a chance to recoup after our travels.

I've been a bit obsessed with lately. Here are some of my purchases. I ordered Mudpies and Magnets after checking it out at the library first. This book has some unbelievably fun science experiments to do with the kids!! I also ordered Lotions, Potions, Slime, Mudpies, and More. I hadn't previewed this from the library, but ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! We have already had some fun with this book. The author of this book seems like my kind of woman. She has some wonderful ideas in here. I got both of these books for under $5 with shipping!! I ordered two other books, but I will have to wait until I'm finished reading those to recommend. If you don't hear about them, that means that they weren't recommendable. :( I thought that both of these books had some great ideas of really fun things to make and do with your children. The Lotions Potions one is my favorite.

All of this book buying gets me so excited about choosing Mary Alice's Kindergarten curriculum for next year. There are so many things out there! We just need to find the right fit for her and for our family. I've been reading lots of books with lots of different opinions about curriculum. I've started to receive all of the curriculum catalogs that I signed up for at last year's home school book fair. In a little over a month, I will have to make a decision. I've done the research and am hoping that the choice will be easy. That is what I am praying for. Exciting stuff! Next year will begin a whole new phase in our life. I can't wait for Mary Alice to start Kindergarten.

Here are a few pictures of the kids from yesterday. Major and I watered the lawn together. He was so cute in his little rain boots and shorts. I wish I'd gotten a picture of that! We were watering together, when we noticed a forgotten piece of sidewalk chalk that was buried in the bushes. The chalk had been soaked by our watering efforts. I picked it out of the bushes. Major and I had fun with our wet sidewalk chalk "paint". We were painting our hand prints all over the porch "just like Curious George" when Mary Alice walked out and joined in on the fun. I ran inside and grabbed the camera. Here are some pictures of my sweetie pies.

Monday, March 12, 2007

How Do You Spell... Resourceful?

Today Mary Alice was writing a letter to her friends, Janae and Jillian.

Mary Alice: "Mom...How do you spell Dear?"

Mary Alice: "How do you spell Janae?"

Mary Alice: "How do you spell Jillian?"

After the third question, I told her that I could no longer be her personal speller, that she needed to try to sound out the words on her own. She went off by herself to finish working on the letter.

I walked in to discover that she was eagerly searching through her books, looking for the words that she wanted to use. That girl is a perfectionist and really hates to make a mistake. She was being resourceful, avoiding sounding out the words on her own, but ran into a little problem.

I guess she was able to find all of the words that she needed, except for the word "wrote". She held up her letter and said, "I couldn't find the word "wrote" in my books, so I just used the word "turned" instead." Silly goose!
She held up her letter.

It read:

Dear Janae and Jillian,

I think you have beautiful voices! I turned all these words from my book!
Love you! We love you!

Love, Mary Alice

Friday, March 09, 2007

Little House In The Ghetto

This is just a little post to talk about what the kids have been doing. My kids have really been amusing (to us anyway) lately. I just wanted to record their actions on my blog. The happenings of my children may not be at all of interest to you. If they aren't, read no further....

Okay, you've been warned...

And on a side note, I titled my post "Little House In The Ghetto". Some have argued that I do not really live in the ghetto. That is your point of view. Each of us is entitled to his/her own opinion. These well meaning friends were laying seeds of doubt in my mind as to whether or not my house was, in fact, worthy of being called ghetto. I was starting to think that perhaps I had been judging my neighborhood too harshly. Last week, I was alerted to a string of recent burglaries that have been occurring right here in our neighborhood. Yes, it is true!!! Now, my mind is made up where there once was a smidgen of doubt. Yes, friends, I DO live in the ghetto. The ghetto, by my definition, is a place where you don't feel safe walking around the block. It is a place where your neighbors do very unclassy things, such as blaring their music, parking their boat in their yard, or having wild parties deep into the night. No doubt that there are different levels of ghetto, but to my opinion giving friends I say.... If it looks like ghetto and it feels like ghetto and it smells like IS ghetto.


Mary Alice and I have been reading through the "Little House" series over the past few months. She begs for me to read to her every day. My mother read the Little House series to me as a child. It is fun to read them to Mary Alice (and sometimes Major) now. I am reading the stories again that I read as a child, but reading them aloud to my own kids is much different.

I had assumed that many parts of these books would be boring to Mary Alice. There are few pictures. Sometimes, Laura Ingalls' two and three page descriptions of the prairie grasses and the sights and sounds of the open plains is too much for even me (someone who loves way more details than the average person!) Mary Alice is fascinated, though. She asks so many questions! Major is mostly bored by the books, but loves to sit on my lap and suck his thumb. He patiently waits until it is his turn for me to read one of his picture books to him.

In case you are bored to tears now by the endless description of my kids and their reading habits.... I will get on with how they have been using all of their new found information....

My kids have become OBSESSED with the Ingalls family!! It all began when we started reading the Little House series. The questions began... "What is calico?", "Why do they just eat cornbread all of the time?", "Why do they have a dirt floor?", "Why don't they have any toys?","What is salt pork?", "Have you ever been on a horse?" etc. etc. etc. Then, one day, while we were at Wal Mart, Mary Alice asked the fabric lady to show her what calico was. The lady looked puzzled. I explained that Mary Alice and I had been reading through the Little House series and that calico was something that Mary Alice was interested in seeing. The lady was kind and showed her all of their calico prints. Mary Alice has been begging for me to make a calico dress for her and a matching one for her doll. We'll see about that.

Mary Alice loves to interject lots of the new words she has learned into her normal conversations. She has been calling people "Flutterbudget" and saying things like, "That sure is a fine pair of shoes you have on." It is funny to see her try to manipulate words, but can also be annoying at times. She is learning so much about history from these books. I guess I can put up with a few annoying phrases.

In addition to her love of words, Mary Alice recently decided that she prefers her hair in braids and would like to wear mostly dresses and long skirts. This is not always practical, so she doesn't wear only dresses and long skirts, but loves to wear them around sometimes "just like Laura".

I wish there were some place around here that we could visit. Now would be a perfect time for to visit a place where the kids could learn about pioneer life. I guess the world wide web will have to do for now.

Yesterday, Mary Alice put on her Halloween costume from last year (not the crab, but the queen princess). Major put on his beard and mustache. Mary Alice said that she was putting on her best calico dress. They set up a "dry goods" store in our living room. They emptied out all of the pantry that was within their reach and lined up the things in one corner of the living room. Mary Alice was "Ma" and Major was "Pa". They pushed around their babies ("Carrie and Grace") in Mary Alice's pram. It was so cute!

Mary Alice ("Ma") was very bossy to ("Pa"). "Now, Charles!!!" she would say, "You mustn't do that!" She would use this line whenever Major was doing something that she didn't want him to do. Whenever he would interrupt her, she would say, "You need to be fixing the gate!" or "You need to go and trample the hay!" One time, she even said, "I'm tired of living in this shanty! Pa! You need to build us a better house!"

After listening to Mary Alice barking out orders for a while, I finally said, "Mary Alice, I don't remember Ma being quite this bossy to Pa. I think she usually said things like: "Charles, you know best." This quieted her down a little bit. Mary Alice had me playing the part of Laura the whole time. This role play lasted a great part of the day. I listened to her instruct her girls on the art of making sourdough bread and sage stuffing. I listened to her tell her daughters to "mind the children" and praise them for their fine, neat stitches and other such silliness.

She kept directing Major's every move. She told him to "play his fiddle", "Put on his boots", etc. Major loved being "Pa" and let Mary Alice tell him what to do and where to go all afternoon. Of course, "Ma" was giving orders to me as well. Finally, I was so tired of it all that I just quit. No more Ingalls family role play for me for a while! As Pa would say, "I'm plumb wore out."

I know they'll grow out of this Ingalls loving stage soon. We only have two or three more books left in the series. I will be sure to choose more carefully the next time I decide to read a series of stories to them. When we read some of of Roald Dahls' books a few months ago, the kids were obsessed with chocolate (not such a bad thing). For now, I have two little imaginative homesteaders living with me. That isn't such a bad thing either.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Good Enough To Eat

Tonight, I was getting ready for church. Mary Alice came in and commented on what I was wearing (a pair of khakis and a white sweater).

"Mom, you look really pretty. Your sweater reminds me of baking powder. Your pants look like roasted chicken."

Hmmm. Resembling a roasted chicken wasn't exactly the look I was going for. Perhaps she has a future in the food industry?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Here We Go Again...

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.. Blessed be the Name of the Lord...

Another miscarriage... I don't quite know what God is trying to say to us, what we should do next? Do we keep trying to have more children? Do we stop trying? It is very confusing sometimes to live in this world, very hard to understand why things happen or what our response should be. I do know that I shouldn't be afraid. I know that I should keep trusting in Him. I should count it all joy when I face trials in life. I'm trying to trust and to not be afraid. I do have a kind of joy. I know that the happy smiley kind of joy will come soon enough.

One of the hardest things about going through these tough times has been that all of my closest friends live so far away!! I miss having that support group nearby. I am so thankful for the many people who I know are covering me with their prayers right now. We are going to need your continued prayers for strength and peace, and for wisdom to understand God's Will for our family. I am encouraged by the number of you who have told me that you would pray for us and by your phone calls and e-mails. Thank you so much. I am so blessed by the many godly friends I have who are praying for us. Prayer is powerful!

I am thankful for other things. I am thankful that with this pregnancy, God did not allow me to carry this baby for very long at all. I didn't have to see this baby's tiny body or hear its little heart beating, nor did I have to endure the false hope from a doctor saying that things were looking great. So, in a way, for that I am so grateful. It makes this whole thing so much easier to bear.

I am already so blessed by my sweet babies, Mary Alice and Major. They are precious and healthy and beautiful. I have so much to be thankful for. God is giving me the peace and contentment that I've prayed about for so long. I know that He will continue to give me that peace if I keep trusting in Him. I know that some day all of my "whys" will be answered.

Who has known the mind of the Lord,nor who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay Him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

My sweet buddies are downstairs eating breakfast right now. I think I'll go join them.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I don't know exactly what or how to write today, just that I need to write something. I guess I'll start with this.... I found out a few days ago that I am pregnant with our fifth child. FIFTH??? You may be thinking, "Fifth?? Who are these other mysterious children that she never blogs about??" Those extra two children are ones that, for reasons only known by God, are ones that we've never gotten the chance to meet. I have had two miscarriages in the last year and a half. Both of these children had a heartbeat, fingers and toes, eyelids, arms and legs. This child that I am carrying is only a few weeks old, which to some, may seem to not be a child at all. To those of us who believe that life begins in the womb, however, this baby has a soul and a future with days that are numbered by God.

Before I went through the heartache of two miscarriages, I would have NEVER dared to share with close friends and family, much less then entire webworld, that I was carrying a baby this early in the game, but now, I have a different mindset. I feel like it would be better to ask for prayers now and have people praying about it, than to be praying alone with my family. After all, if I really believe in the power of prayer, why would I not want as many people praying for us as possible?? Also, in the event of another miscarriage, I want people to know that there is a reason for my altered mood or not being myself, not just that I am emotionally unstable or psycho.

All of this to say, it is definitely going to be a hard couple of weeks/months for our family, whether or not this baby remains healthy. I'm trying not to get too attached to the idea of having another child. I am just trying to protect myself emotionally. I don't want to worry, and am doing my best not to think about it, but am constantly plagued by what ifs and fear of the unknown. And, of course, I really really want this baby!! I think Satan wants me to be consumed with this pregnancy. I know that he will use whatever he can to make me take my eyes off of what is truly important. I will not let him win!!! He wants me to be worried and to stop trusting in God's care and perfect timing. He wants me to be angry and confused. He wants me to complain and to not be thankful in all circumstances. He wants me to question God and His love for me. He wants me to not persevere under trials, but to crumble under their weight. He knows that one of my greatest desires has always been to have a large family, and of my tendency to want to control everything, and just how much not being able to realize my dreams will affect me. The good news is that GOD knows all of those things too, but GOD also loves me, wants what is best for me, and is has a plan for my future. His plan is better than my plan, even though I may not always understand it. His ways are not my ways. Thankfully!!!

I would ask that you pray for peace and contentment for me. I have been so blessed by my wonderful husband and two beautiful and healthy children. I know that ultimately, God is working everything out for my good. I don't understand it, and I may never understand it here on earth, but I have to believe it, and keep on trusting Him. I am going to borrow my friend Tamra's verse, which is the verse that immediately came to mind during this pregnancy. You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3