Thursday, July 31, 2008

Confession is Good!

Spiritually speaking I've been pretty dry. Not dried up! Just parched a bit. It's not that the desire isn't there. It is. I miss talking with Him, feeling Him in my life using me for His kingdom. I've just allowed my flesh and busyness to get in the way of what can bring that fresh water and life to me...that's my daily quiet time with Him. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I haven't been the same since being pregnant with Lilly. I've let life overwhelm me I've still been praying and sporadically reading my bible and devotions, but it's been SOOO long since I've had a lengthy talk with God, since I've confessed any sins or really felt him moving in my spirit.

So today I grabbed my bundle of spiritual tools and sat down at the kitchen table. I splayed open the Primetime notebook, my bible, my own journal and had a hot cup of coffee to go with it all. Primetime is an organized notebook written by Dave Early to help you have a daily primetime with God. It is sectioned off as Bible Reading, Prayer and Bible Study and then each of those is sectioned off. My favorite section is the prayer part and it has guidelines for each day of the week. If you're not real sure about how to organize your daily prayer time remember A.C.T.S. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Spend a few minutes to as much time as you have in each part.

  • Adore God by reading Scriptures about who he is, going through his attributes (holy, truth, gracious) or sing a song to him. Tell him how much you love him.
  • Confess to God by asking him to show you where you are sinning, admit those sins and yield yourself to him.
  • Be Thankful to him by verbally or in writing telling him all that you are thankful for in your life, from your sight to the vehicle you drive to the shoes on your feet.
  • Ask for Supplication (supplying our needs and the needs of others.)
I pray more thoroughly when I write it out; as if writing a letter to God, that's what I do in my own prayer journal. So I get to the confession portion of my prayers and look at the list of questions to ask yourself (according the Galations 5:16-23) and I start to squirm. Here's the list:

  1. Do I commit sexual immorality? No.
  2. Do I think thoughts of impurity? Uh...maybe.
  3. Do I find escape or entertainment in sexually questionable magazines, books, TV programs, music or movies? Do "The Girls Next Door" or the book "Engaged to the Shiek" count? Okay...you got me.
  4. Do I have any idols in my life (things that I put before God)? Easily...busyness, family, TV.
  5. Do I have any dealings with witchcraft? Not that I can think of right now. Do those Ghosthunter shows count?
  6. Do I have hatred in my heart? Ooh...tricky one. I don't THINK I hate anyone, but then I'm sure I've said some nasty things about certain people and that would certainly fall under hatefulness. Okay, check me on that one too.
  7. Are there any broken relationships I need to make right? Yea, most likely. My brother, Eric, and I are completely fallen away from each other. He and I had a hard past and now that's he's back in our family life he's living a life that's polar opposite of my own. My fleshly reaction is to push him away under guise of protecting my own family, and there is a real part of that, but I need to really pick apart where I can have a relationship with him and be a good influence and also allow God to change me and work through me with Eric. Okay, okay...I get it, Lord. The question is how and whether he'll let me close.
  8. Am I jealous of anyone? I wouldn't say I'm jealous of any one person, but I do get jealous of lifestyles. I find myself wishing for something more or that I had those clothes or that body. So, yea. A lot of that comes from TV. I watch the Travel Channel and get so jealous of the people who get to jetset on vacations or stay in Paris.
  9. Have I committed any unconfessed fits of rage? Ever met Zachary and spent a few hours with him? This is a hard one for me...I confess. I also find myself getting a little nutty in the car, talking to drivers who aren't going fast enough or too fast or just aren't doing what I want them to. :(
  10. Am I selfishly ambitious? Umm..no. I guess I do fight this a little with trying to let go of what I thought I should be as a working woman.
  11. Am I divided from anyone? Is this a repeater?
  12. Am I at odds with any group? No, I don't think so.
  13. Am I envious? (repeater)
  14. Have I or do I long to experience drunkenness or orgies? Drunkenness, yes. Orgies, no.
So, I wrote out my own prayer of confession to the Lord including these things and some that are not on this list (I'll keep them to myself *wink*) and I really do feel a lift of burden. I feel like the air has been cleared and I can press forward with my usual day. Not to say I'm not gonna screw up again in an hour or so, b/c well, let's face it...I'm in a weakened state here. But when I do screw up, I need to be more quick to just get down there and say "Father, I screwed up. Forgive me and build me up to be stronger against my own flesh. I want to do and crave Godly things, not things of the flesh."

For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.
Hebrews 8: 12

Why is it that I know this feeling, know my Jesus as I do, know how I NEED him and our relationship, and yet I let things get between us? I just don't know, honestly. What I do know is that he's there every single time I turn back around. He always accepts my requests of forgiveness and really desires to spend time with me. When I allow him in he really does stir my spirit and helps me get through the day with less or no urge to scream or want to numb myself with food, TV or other guilty pleasure. I think it's time to get the train back on the tracks and out of Summertime mode. I know I need to be more on the guidelines for my own spiritual health, to be obedient to my Father, to be more an influence in his kingdom and to show my children how a daily relationship with Christ looks. Abby's always watching me...taking in the good AND the bad...and then there are others who'll be doing the same thing. What a responsibility! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


Looooong post...sorry! Had to get it all out though! You may go on with your day now. *wink*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You know, some of the most profound or hilarious material runs through my head during that stretch of time in bed where you are not quite asleep yet, but mostly comfortable and can't draw yourself up. Almost every night I get some sort of thought or collection of thoughts that I think are worthy of blogging or emailing and I think "get up and do it now or it will be lost forever!" I never do though. I always talk myself into staying in bed promising I WILL remember it in the morning when I see my laptop. I never do though!

So in lieu of one of those golden nuggets of profoundness...I'll share with you all one my most embarrassing moments.

Junior year of Kent State and I was living with my sidekick Erica in our first apartment at The University Inn. These apartments were basically glorified suites on the top two floors of a hotel, but it was perfect for just the two of us and we felt like big girls on our own. Our laundry room was on the fourth floor and we lived on the seventh floor "penthouse" (if I'm remembering correctly).

So this particular weekend I believe I'd had too many tacos with Scott and probably could have floated down to the fourth floor on my own cloud of gas, but I took the elevator anyway to put a load in. I take care of business, grab my basket and punch the button for the elevator. Suddenly I get that build up down below, clenched and tried to hold it in. The elevator opens and I'm alone...phew. Ugh, but my belly is cramping from holding it in and I decide to release a tiny bit of pressure and squeak out THE tiniest little bubble of a toot. Ya know, since I'm alone. I feel the release but within nanoseconds I'm surrounded by the foulest stench of sewer and it's inescapable. And of course in that same minuscule frame of time I hear voices waiting for the elevator at the next floor.

SH*T!! One floor from safety!
Maybe they won't want to go up. *Ding Door opens*

Only one of the guys got in with me and after our obligatory acknowledgment of each other I just stared at my basket, sweating bullets. Feeling the pressure rise with the elevator and the stench I looked up from my basket and still today not knowing exactly why, I quite sheepishly said "It stinks in here." The guy nods his head while still looking down at the floor, probably trying to hold his breath. And like a true guilty person I said, "It wasn't me." *Ding Door opens*

Oh thanks be to God!
I ran away from that elevator like it had held me captive for years and back to the safety of my little apartment. And then I laughed my butt off and even still I laugh at how embarrassing it was, but more than that...why the hell did I implicate myself by denying any part of the stench? That ALWAYS points the finger right at you. The old "he who smelt it, dealt it" deal, right?

So there you go. I'm the elevator farter and darter.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Grass is not Always Greener

This weekend was the annual Tennis4you.com get together (this is my hub's ultra cool instructional tennis website ala tennis fanatic haven) and thanks to my Mom coming up and spending the night, I got to go! We decided to take Lilly with us though, as keeping up with Z's shenanigans would prove hard enough. Abby's the most fun one, so she stayed with Gramma as well and watched The Spiderwick Chronicles and Hannah Montana 3D with her.

Anyway, the hosts of the get together were a really sweet couple, Christy and Greg, with their really sweet daughter, Ella. Their house is amazing and decorated just so...well, quite like I would do it if I had the space, money and creativity. I'm not judging here...everything in their house, from the food to the furniture to the clothes to the toys, is top shelf. Clearly they are well off financially...and I'm totally happy for them. My point in bringing this up is that it made that mostly dead part of my heart wake up. That part of me that still desires to have a career and be fruitful in the workplace and bring home the bacon.

It's ironic to me now that I'd even be sitting here wishing for it at all. Four years ago I was the happiest woman alive knowing that I could stop working full-time and be home with my baby girl. It was a dream come true. It was two years of prayers and tears come to life, handed to me on a merciful platter. Four years ago I would have laughed out loud in your face, really rudely so you'd get the full gist that I didn't believe you when you said "you'll miss the working world and find that staying home with children is harder." I promised God that I'd start Bible studies here in my neighborhood and witness to all the moms if He'd JUST give me this one thing. And while I have been a witness/spiritual friend/study leader in my four years...I wouldn't say I've made a big dent in my neighborhood at-home mother population. Four years ago, I never thought I'd long for the routine of the office, the barking orders of bottom line seeking superiors, the stressful meetings, the deadlines, the reports, the pantyhose, the public restrooms (well, I don't miss that at all!), the traffic jams or the interoffice gossip/relationships. And for the most part, I've really let that desired part of my heart die...until I meet another mother who's having her cake and eating it too. Then I start wondering "what if." Oh that "What If Monster!" What if I'd stuck with the job I was in and progressed in the position? What kind of salary would I have by now? How much more knowledge would I have? How much more money would we have in the bank? How much fun it is to get all dressed up in the clothes, make up and feel part of something bigger than yourself!

But then I look at my children and know how important THIS job is. I feel glad that if either of them are sick they can sleep in their own bed and be comforted by their mother instead of a daycare provider. I'm here for them day or night to kiss boo-boos, comfort their sad hearts, laugh with them, teach them the way of the world and our family values, enjoy life on their level painting, coloring, playing with Play-doh. I get to see all the milestones, the VERY firsts... and not just the one that's "first" for me when the babysitter got to see the real one.

I'm not passing judgement on any other moms who have to work either. We're just one hardship away from that very thing, so I understand what a priviledge this position is. We do what we have to do to take care of our children/families. I'm just saying there are definite perks and blessings to being an full time at-home mother.

Once when I was bemoaning my position here at the house and wondering aloud to my mother should I go back to work she said very profoundly, "Christy, you're gonna second guess yourself no matter which decision you make. The question is not should you go back to work. The question is what is the best thing for your children in the situation you are in." Well said, Mom! So clearly, for our family, the best thing for our children is for me to be home with them. *sigh* I just wish that other green eyed monster side of me would die, die, die. I don't want to feel torn about it anymore...it's been four years! I want to just relax into this position and be thankful and joyful in it.

I guess this journey of full-time motherhood is really a metamorphosis and not just a simple decision. God is changing me and it's taking a lot more time than I thought. Maybe because I keep fighting it so much? Lesson for today...do not compare myself to other mothers (at home or not) and be fully present in my own home. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load (Galatians 6:4-5). God, purify my heart and bring my mothering heart to the surface so that I can let go of old notions of what I should be. Constantly remind me how important my job here is and let me see the fruits of my labor. Bind the enemy from me. Keep the lies from my ears and surely from taking root in my heart. Amen.



Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's For Dinner?

Not Okra! Not Beets either! They are both still sitting in my veggie bin mocking me. Taunting me with their earthiness and daring me to try something new. *gag* I just can't get past my old memories of those two. Internet friends, meet Slimy, Stinky Okra and Juicy, Bitter Beet. I don't like them but they are here for awhile until I can either pawn them off on someone, figure out a recipe to try or they rot and I get to throw them away. I can't in "good conscience" pitch them in their healthy form.

So we're ending up with Jack's Pizza, Chicken Nuggets and cheesy potatoes. Not bad tasting, but totally bad in the carbs. Not what one would hope for in a Sunday dinner.

Doesn't help much either that I feel like a hepher and can't stop the milkshake habit. Scott and I both are total chocolate chip junkies. We crave them. Ooooh...the sweet, sweet love of a chocolate chip milkshake. We SO look forward to our smooth, creamy, cold, milky milkshake at the end of a hard day. The cherry on top of it is when we get to have the milkshake AND "So You Think You Can Dance"at the same time. We're addicted to both actually and are already worrying about what we'll replace the show with when a winner is crowned. Our money is on Katee or Twitch.

Totally loved BOTH of them in this routine. Mia Michaels has my props too!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do dogs understand your feelings?

Isn't it amazing how sometimes it seems that dogs completely understand what you are saying or feeling? They obviously can read body language and tone of voice, but then there's that sense that they "feel" what's going on too. Ever heard someone say that children and dogs have the ability to see and feel spiritual activity? I think there may be some truth to that. Sometimes when Tyson gets to staring at the wall or out the window and does that low, barely there growl...the hairs on my neck stand up and I feel like calling my Mommy.

Last night I was having a quiet little mental breakdown (the usual kid drama) and Tyson come from a completely different room, sat down right next to me and stared at me as if to say "Awe...it's okay. Don't cry, Mommy Pet me and you'll feel better Here, I'll shove my wet nose under your hand to get you started." How sweet is this guy, right?

And then there are other dogs, like our crypt keeper Max, who obsessively licks his paws until they are raw, lives under the couch and has a complete internal meltdown if a prism of light flashes anywhere in the house.

Just makes me wonder what all they really comprehend around here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Veggie Tuesday


Now we're getting into unfamiliar vegetation! We've got BEETS and OKRA and I think these are Banana Peppers. I have no idea how to cook these guys and I know I've had okra before as a kid and hated it. All I can remember is slimy green stuff. So - I'm game for trying but I'm not promising that I won't revert back to a seven year old and turn my nose up the whole time.

The corn is twice the size it was last week also. No more lettuce or beans though, so that's a bit of a bummer. Well, the lettuce part is. We got a little tired of the beans. I LOVE fresh green beans, but Scott only ate them as a courtesy to me and to get the kids to try them. They weren't fans though.

So this week we received: A small head of cabbage, nine ears of corn, four banana peppers, five okra, four beets, eight or nine brown potatoes, two zuchs and one squash. Oh, and an onion. :)

Yum!

Mess of the Day

Every single day I either wake up to a mess or find one throughout the day, sometimes multiple messes. Yesterday Zach was having some sort of personal melt down, threw a train and put a dent in the wall. He was just angry with the tracks not going together properly and so he started thrashing the whole set apart and tossing trains either way. We're still working on pinpointing feelings and appropriate venting.

Today he hasn't quite been himself...more quiet and cuddley and laying around. Is he sick? Not sure. He asked to wash his hands so I let him in the bathroom figuring that he'd run the water too long or pump too much soap, but that I could handle that. I kept saying "Come on, Zach. We gotta get your shorts back on." When he didn't answer the third time I went looking and there he was...covered in Bare Minerals Blush, as was the sink. I didn't know whether to scream at the loss of the make up or laugh at my son wearing more blush than Tammy Faye Baker. I counted the loss of make up as a lesson learned for myself b/c I know better than to leave my make up bag out, wiped my blush off of my son all the while explaining that "boys don't wear make up...only girls." Someday he'll realize otherwise and had better never come home with eyeliner or his Dad will kick his toosh.

All in all, this mess was containable and not damaging at all, so no fireworks yet today. The day's not over yet though.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Can I Get An Amen!?

So this weekend I'm driving with Abby down Main Street, just toodling along after our "Girl Day" breakfast and trip to the specialty store for a new Webkin. I know! I said she was done getting Webkins, right? But I promised her a trip to the salon to get our nails painted for our "Girl Day" and after an expensive trip to Cincy, I figured a Lil' Kin would be much cheaper and offer more fun. Anyway, we were just driving along looking to go to a few yard sales and we start seeing those familiar posterboard signs "CAR WASH HERE" and I'm thinking Just keep driving and don't make eye contact. Then I am startled by the fact that the two or three young ladies (and I use that term loosely) were wearing nothing but dental floss and postage stamps. They are all standing out there in STRING BIKINIS on Main Street. Downtown. Asking for money for their donation car wash. In string bikinis. Downtown. On Main Street. At a cheap arse fast food restaurant. Of course Abby was like "Whoa Mom...look at them." I just said "that's completely inappropriate!" and it was. It is. I think it was for a sorority but I may be confused. No matter what age though...there is no reason for a young woman to be selling her body to get donations for a charity. I was embarrassed to drive by with my seven year old, enraged that this fast food place would let 90% naked girls stand outside of their establishment and appalled by how our society thinks this is acceptable.

Today I'm quite angry with myself for not stopping right then and there and telling those girls how inappropriate their "attire" was AND going into the restaurant to tell them what I thought. Do those girls realize how risky their behavior is? Let's just face it...men are dirty dogs as far as sexuality and women go...MOST MEN are. All young hormonal teenage boys too, for that matter! No doubt there were men who stopped to have their vehicles soaped and rubbed up by the scantily clad girls. I'm sure they got a good "look see" at the goodies of these young girls and only had to pay but a five or ten spot for the show.

I feel sorry for the girls who felt it was acceptable to parade around their bodies for a few bucks. I wish I could have called their parents and told them how their precious little baby girls were all oiled up, wearing practically nothing and proudly picketing for donations. I wish I could remember WHICH restaurant it was they were standing outside of so I could send a copy of this post and a few more choice words to them. But most of all I wish those girls would know how precious their bodies really are, how holy a place a woman's body is. I wish they would have had more respect for themselves than what they did.

And since I'm on the soapbox...while my church does NOT have girls in string bikinis in service. There are girls, and grown women I might add, who are dressed inappropriately for church service. Yesterday I saw a young girl in the hallway wearing skin-tight cut off shorts clear up to her "you know what", flip flops and a tight tee shirt. WHAT!? Where were her parents when they got in the car? Did they REALLY think that is appropriate clothing to go into the house of the Lord? Now look, I have no issue with wearing shorts or jeans or even tee shirts into church. I think you can worship and serve the Lord in most clothes. But come on! It's my opinion that you should 1) dress modestly (no cleavage, upper thigh, midriff, plunging backs, spaghetti/bra strap tops) and 2) dress as if you are going to be in there with Jesus. I'm not saying go get on your three peice suit and dress with with pearls, but you should be able to wear something as nice as you would to any other formal event. Plus, going back to the how men can be dirty thinkers thing...why cause these guys to have more/any dirty thoughts? Can't a guy go into the Lord's house and be safer than he would out on the street? Shouldn't the culture of the church look different than the culture on the outside? I remember once when we were sitting in the middle/back area and we could see a young girl several rows up that looked just like she had nothing on but a bra. All you could see were those skinny bra straps on her tank top and I (a woman) was like "what the heck is she wearing!?" I could easily picture her sitting there in her underwear. I blame the parents in many cases. These younguns are just following what the Pied Piper of American culture is telling them. Come on parents! Hike up your parenting underwear and send these kids back to their rooms to change, even if you're gonna be late because of the fight and time it takes. You HAVE to think about what you are sending your kids out in. Boys too!

This is call for more modesty! I think us "older" women are responsible for teaching and reprimanding our younger women as well. This is not the job of fathers, elders and pastors, although if the women won't speak up then the men should. We have to SHOW the younger girls that you can still be beautiful and feel great in your clothes without showing all the skin that the magazines, movies and commercials make you think you should. We also have to be bold and loving in telling our girls when they should be more respectful of themselves and others in how they dress AND carry themselves AND speak. Now if it's MY girls I'm just gonna be like "get your butt back upstairs and change right now b/c I'm not taking you anywhere dressed like that!" That's what my mom did and she also didn't buy the crap that I wanted at 14 years old.

So...that's just my two cents.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Lilly Among the Thorns

I know you are all waiting for pictures and sweet anecdotes of our trip to Cincinnati, but they aren't ready to come out. It was really fun and we packed A LOT into 36 hours. Yes, we came home early. Once you pass a certain age you either travel with your mountain of pillows and earplugs or you don't and sleep like complete crap. From now on...we travel with a suitcase of pillows.

In bigger news...Lilly turns eleven months at the end of July and up until two days ago she'd randomly say "Mama" and definitely "Dada" when she saw Scott. Well she decided to pick up "Uh-Oh!" and throw it in her vocab purse. She says it whenever she feels like and also to repeat someone else. I'm sure it's not the cutest d*mned thing you ever saw, but it surely brought tears of joy and sadness to my eyes, quite unexpectedly I may add. Then, like that wasn't enough for my Mommy Heart, she turned around and took an unassisted step toward the other couch and made it. Whoa! Good job, Lilly!! (more tears)

I suddenly realized that she's gonna be a year old in just a month and a few days and she's becoming a toddler. No more babies. I can clearly see the frosted lipstick, sassy arguments and "you hate me's" coming straight ahead. A big part of me wants to jump up, strip my clothes off and do the jitterbug (don't worry, I won't. Too much jiggle. Gone are the days...*sigh*) The smaller, softer part of me is a little, teeny weeny bit sad that I no longer have a small infant in my arms. But then Zachary does something like rip all the toilet paper off of the roll and pump out all of the hand soap at the gym playroom bathroom...and I'm snapped back into reality and can't wait to have them grown up a little bit more.

For now though, I'll enjoy her the very best that I can. Thank goodness for modern technology so we can capture the sweeter times like this one. Enjoy! Oh, and yes, I gave my eleven month old high fructose crack on a stick.






video

Monday, July 14, 2008

What to do with Summer Squash

I had plans to cut up the yellow squash we got from the farmer and stick it in our pasta sauce, but just as I started to plop them in Scott looked at me and said "what the heck are those and are you putting them in OUR pasta sauce?" I spared him and the kids the nutrition and myself that offended feeling I get when they turn their noses up at healthy vegetables. I now know how my mom felt when I'd turn up my nose before even tasting the smallest bite of food. It seemed to enrage her and she'd say "You are NOT allowed to say it's gross unless you taste it!"

So today I surfed the trusted Allrecipes.com and found a schlew of recipes using Summer Squash, including this one I tried for lunch. Mmmmm...Yellow Squash, Green Zucchini, Orange Carrots, rice and butter! How can I go wrong!? It smells divine while cooking and I did hold out a little hope that the kids would at least try it, but all was dashed quickly when Abby left to eat lunch with Bailee at the pool and Zachary shook his head and devoured a PB&J instead.

Oh well - more for me!

It was delicious too. Give it a try if you get your hands on some squash and zucchini.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Grandmas Have Come Through

Last night Abby was invited to spend the day and night with Gramma Baker, which is always fun for everyone involved. Abby gets one on one time with Gramma, Gramma gets a playmate and Mommy gets to have two kids for a long spell. It's a win-win-win situation. The part I was not prepared for was how much I was going to miss Abby. The previous night (Thursday) she was asked to spend the night with Bailee, our neighbor, but ended up coming home early. She slinked in the front door telling me how much she missed me and said "I even cried a little." LOL I shook my head, not quite believing it and shut the door. Once alone I asked her, "so what's the reason you came home?" She said "I had to go to bed AN HOUR AGO...and I really, really missed you. Seriously, I even cried a little!" I now figured it was all about having to go to bed earlier than normal and just went on about my business, a little glad she was home again.

Then yesterday I dropped her off with Gramma at 10:30am and came home with the other two to go through the rest of my day. We went to CVS, the park and then home for rest time. About 2:00pm when I had Lilly down for a nap and Zach resting (totally not sleeping) in his bed an unfamiliar pang started in my chest. Where's Abby!? It actually consumed me and all I wanted was to hear her little voice, so I picked up the phone hoping to catch her while on a break at the pool with Gramma. Wouldn't you know how lucky I was!? I did catch her. After hearing her pool stories, I admitted to her why I was really calling. I said "Abby, I just HAD to call you because I was sitting here missing you sooooo much." She quickly and curtly asked, "Did you cry a little!?" LOL "No," I said "but I wanted to." She says "well, that's how I felt last night!" LOL Touche, my dear!

Gramma Hartman showed up around 3:30ish with gifts in tow. She's always full of fun stuff for us all...little trinkets, make-up, perfume, a box of cards, flip-flops, Tupperware (why do people sell those away? You can't beat a good piece of Tupperware!), Matchbox cars, clothes, etc. There's no limit to what this woman can find at a yard sale and you can almost be sure she got it for a real steal. It's impressive! She drove down from Marion to watch the two little ones for a few hours so Scott and I could go out by ourselves. We REALLY needed it. Of course this is the day that Zach decides not to take a nap and is acting really wild, so I worried about them a little, but Gramma let him know who's boss even before we left the house. That made me feel more confident leaving her with him. She said they had a great time together and even Lilly was a big girl and showed Gramma her sweet, normal side. It seemed like every other visit she would just be winding up and being a picklepuss (Gramma's nickname) the whole time. Overall she said it was a great time with the kids, so hopefully she'll come back and do it again soon.

So thank God for Gramma's today! Ours are not the kind to sweep up the kids and keep them for the whole weekend, but they are the kind to show up when you're about to drown yourself in Pinot Grigio and give you a few solid hours of sanity. It's just enough to let the blood drain back down toward your heart, see yourself as a real human being again and your kids not as devil spawn, but rather cute and possible again.


I was looking on Google for a sweet picture of "I *heart* Grandma" to include with this post and came across this image. I imagine they're both posing for the pic gladly, but thinking "where the hell is your/my mother?"

Thank God for Grammas!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

You're Gonna Think I'm Nuts!

For the most part, yea I'm crazy. I admit it. This time though...I'm gonna blame my craziness on the condition of my hair and hormones. Aunt Flo is peeking around the corner and laughing at me as I tear my hair out of my scalp and lash out at my kids/family. Darned hormones! I even had a dream last night that I was in a third world country on a Mission Trip and had to pee in this container, then suddenly realized I had started my period. Freaking out I ran to the next stall hoping to ask a fellow female sufferer for assistance. Who do I find? Anderson Cooper - teaching someone else how to pee in the dumb container! Don't ask me why he's in the bathroom with girls, but I guess he would be on a Mission Trip. *shaking my head* So I run out into the street and ask any woman I can find where I might be able to get a tampon and she whispers to me that they are contraband in this country (who knows where I am!?) and if I want to buy them it'll cost me $400 US dollars. Oh great...like paying $4.00 for a gallon of gas, $3.50 for gallon of milk isn't horrid enough! In the end I think I forgot about needing the feminine products but not before I found a nurses station there in the city with a whole boatload of them and I couldn't get a word in edgewise to ask for one. Good grief, right!?

So like that's not nuts enough. I dyed my hair last night..."Spiced Tea" an auburn color. It always makes me feel better to cover the regrowth/gray hairs. :) I didn't have time to fuss with it afterward since Lilly was having herself a class A fit and would not be put down. OH and to redeem my husband from his hair comment (that I thought was more comical than mean, but may have misrepresented) ...he came home last night, helped with dinner, cleaned it all up, took Zach to the park, bathed him AND put him to bed. It was a mini vacation for me! *big grin* So I dyed my hair... and this morning I take the straightening iron to it. Don't you know it, this hair cut lays right down like it's suppose to and nearly just like it did before. *jaw dropping* I KNOW! And do you know what my first thought was!? "Oh CRAP, I'm gonna have to recant my spiteful post and everyone is going to know how nuts I am." *laughing at myself* I'm gonna blame it on hormones and act like it didn't happen. (booming voice of the Wizard of Oz) "DO NOT LOOK AT THE CRAZY WOMAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN!"

On a good note, Miss Lilly slept ALL NIGHT LONG! (angels singing) "Hal-lelujah! Hal-lelujah!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friggin' Hair!

Okay, it's official...I hate my haircut. She (Molly. Her name is MOLLY!) DEFINITELY cut it different this time and if I weren't so ticked off right now and despising the way I look I'd take a picture to show you. The last time, I'd wake up and it'd still be in the same shape. All I had to do was put some smoothing gel on it and straighten out the natural wave I have. This time is just goes everywhere and no matter how flat I make it, it will NOT lay down right. I think the last time she thinned it out really well with the thinning shears and this time she just cut it into layers with the scissors. I have tried to flip it out instead of straight down or under, so as to minimize the helmet head she's given me...but even that doesn't look right. So...I'm stuck. I just have to find some peace with it deep down in the inner reaches of my soul and fight the urge to leave a threatening voicemail for the hairdresser. Poor gal - she has no idea I'm sitting here stewing over the crappy haircut she gave me and wishing I'd never sat in her chair. I think she was so into telling her story of her anniversary from hell that she forgot what she was doing. And to be honest, I could tell the minute she said she was done that something was not right, but did not have the guts to say something to her. *grrrrr*

You can also take into account that just thirty minutes after coming home from the haircut, my dear sweet husband looks at me (I could tell he was scanning and trying to make sense of the hair on my head) and says "I miss your long hair." Yea honey...ME TOO. So I go into this tizzy about how you can't say stuff like that to a woman and he tries to smooth it over with "it looks GOOD, but I just like longer hair. I'd tell you if it looked like sh*t. Honest." Uh yea, okay sweetie. How ya gonna say that? Hey Christy, your hair looks like sh*t? You wouldn't dare!" Well no, more like "it's not my preference." Or more like..."I miss your long hair." God love the male species.

So...I wish hats were in style right now. Stupid hair. It was nice having a short haircut I loved for about a month. Now I begin the slow self abuse that is growing out your hair. Pray for me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

No More Complaining

So...I've decided something last night. Parenting is both an enormous blessing and simultaneously an enormous pain in the arse. This is not what I decided, just an obvious observation. What I've decided is that it's time to stop complaining about it. I'm simply exhausted both emotionally and physically by these three children, but somehow every single morning God grants me another ration of patience, love and strength to make it through the next 24 hours. I've been given the opportunity to stay home from work and mold these children into responsible, caring, moral people - at least to the best of my ability in the time I'm given. I can't spend another hour whining or complaining about how hard it is. It just is. It's gonna feel miserable at times and yes, I'll still be at the end of my rope many days, but my supply comes every day from a real saviour...a God who knows exactly how I feel. I need to dump my complaints in His complaint box and not all over my children or husband. I need to step up to the plate every day and stop taking everything so seriously and personally. The great thing about having kids is that they are fun! I need to have more FUN with them.

I have great kids...all three healthy, adorable in my eyes and real blessings from God. Along with the bundle of goodness comes a heap of rottenness that I'm in charge of weeding out of them. I can do it. Scott and I can do it...with God's help every day.

So...here goes nothing. *raising my coffee mug* To "not complaining today and having more fun!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Veggie Tuesday

YUM - Veggies are here!! Nom, nom, nom!!

Today we received nine ears of corn, a head of cabbage, a bag of green beans, a handful of baby red potatoes, two squash, small green onions, one large onion and a bag of lettuce. I'm already thinking of all the side dishes I want to make for dinner! Pretty good loot, if you ask me.



Upon inspection of the corn though I found three freeloading worms again,none as big as last weeks for sure, but still there nonetheless. Christina, my neighbor, who halves the share with me, said she had two wormy ears of corn as well. So I think I'll send an email over to the farmer to see what's up. We're guessing it's part and parcel of not using pesticides, but I'd still like to ask. You can't see them in this picture, but maybe if you click on it . I pulled apart the other two, just to make sure, but the holes are there b/c there are fatty worms inside. *shiver* I'll likely just husk them, cut off the bad parts and eat the rest. No need to throw away a whole ear for a few bad kernels, right? We'll just mark those with an A and a Z for th e kids. Tee hee hee. Of course, knowing my anal retentive children they won't want the "broken" ones. :) I don't know WHERE they get that!? *whistling and looking off*

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th, 2008

Both kids slept ALLLLLL night long! Lilly went to sleep about 9pm and slept 'til 6am. Of course our dog Max had to have a coughing fit at 3am to make sure I didn't get an uninterupted night of sleep, but after kicking him out of the bedroom I was back to blissful dreamland within a minute or two. Ahhhhhhhh!!!

In other news, I got my hair cut again last night after seven weeks of growth. For some reason (crazy girl hormones?) the cut looks different to me. It doesn't feel edgy and funky...it feels like a bob and I think it's because she cut the front pieces at a tiny angle instead of letting them hang straight. I'm gonna try doing it myself this morning and see if I can make peace with it. Gosh, I hope so or it'll be a long six weeks. And you know, it feels like I went a lot longer than seven weeks btwn cuts too. I'll have to go back and check my posts to see when it actually was.

Happy Fourth of July, by the way! I hope you have parades, sparklers and non- e-coli hamburgers in your near future. :) Mmmm...baked beans, potato salad, condiments, iced tea. Sounds wonderful! We are planning to attend our local parade this afternoon, but not before entering Abby's bike in the 4th of July Bike Decorating Contest. We haven't even begun decorating the bike yet 1) b/c we decided yesterday to do this and 2) the lines at Hellmart last night were so vicious and I (of course) got in the U-scan line with the broken machine and the lady with forty items. I threw my stuff on another counter and walked out, knowing full well it'd completely disappoint a seven year old who was waiting eagerly at home AND I'd be crunched to decorate faster and with three kids "helping." Tonight our church is having a huge shebang that we hope to attend. Logistically I'm hoping to take two cars so that one of us can leave with the Zach man should we need to, but it seems like a waste of gas and a parking space. We'll see!

I'll definitely be back with photos tomorrow! Enjoy your Fourth and Family. Thank God for being an American/in America right now and say a prayer for the soldiers and their families who'll have to celebrate our liberty while their loved one is fighting for liberty of others.

For anyone who might actually enjoy U.S. History (I hated it in school) here is a link to a 9th grade U.S. History quiz. I failed it with a 50%. See if you can do better!


Oh - and Happy Birthday, Jordie!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Veggie Thursday

Due to the holiday this weekend our veggies didn't make it to us on Tuesday, but rather came today. Yum!

We certainly shouldn't be low on Iron, that's for sure. Lots of greens!!! We've received a bag of snap peas (mmm...shelling and eating them raw as I type this. If you've not had them, go buy a pound and try them.), a bag of string beans, a whole white onion, a small bunch of green onions, a bag of lettuce, a head of cabbage (which I let Christina keep) and nine ears of corn.

Next Thursday begins Reynoldsburg's first annual Farmers Market and I have marked it on the calendar. There is just something about buying canned jams, homegrown veggies and fresh baked goodies out of the back of someone's van for less than grocery prices - makes it taste better. I'm not talking about the creepy van that sits behind the grocery store ready for a dumpster dive. Nope, the Grandma, Grandpa duo who have a little table set up at the end of the Ford pickup or minivan, who are really proud of what they've grown or baked. It makes me feel more connected to my community and less like a part of the cattle drive that occurs in the grocery store. You get to actually meet the person who grows/bakes your food and ask questions about their process instead of hoping the grocery market department heads are doing their jobs. It feels more responsible and more familial. It actually makes me wish for ten acres of solid gold soil where I could plant my own family garden. My six by four suburban raised bed garden just isn't cutting the mustard these past two years.

Edited to add:
I was just shucking the corn for tonight's dinner and found a squirmy freeloader. I can hear Bear Grylls now..."Ahh man...look at this guy here...he's loaded with protein and vit-ah-mins. *slurp* *gag*"











I assume this fatty was no extra charge for us. *shiver*

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ghosty

This is our ghost knife fish - Ghosty. He is, hands down, the coolest fish we've ever owned. Somehow, in just two years we've gone from buying three comet goldfish for our daughter to owning two huge tanks (55 gal and 110 gal) with an assortment of aquatic life. We've had angel fish, barbs, tetras, three parrot fish, numerous sucker fish (FINALLY got one that grew and lived longer than a month or so), numerous apple snails and more fish than I can remember.

Ghosty is now approximately 11 inches long and can swim backwards. He's absolutely mesmerizing to watch, the way his underside delicately undulates contrasting his thicker eel-like face. Why do I call him a him anyway? Do fish have a sex? I guess we just figured he's a cool dude and must be a dude. *shrugging* Anyway, we use to have a log in the tank for him to hide in, but never really got to watch him in action b/c the only time he'd come out was when we'd turn the lights off. So we thought to go get a big plastic tub, cut off the end and use that. He apparently still thinks he's hiding from us b/c he just hangs inside the tube - not the brightest fish in the tank I guess.

Enjoy!

video