Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Key to Keeping Resolutions...

is to resolve to not make any at all. (Just teasing!!) Actually, I am doing ok on my resolutions(spiritual and physical) for the year mainly because I instituted The Grace Policy. TGP is simply this, if I mess up, regardless of how many times, I show myself grace and keep moving forward.

Interestingly, as I worked out on the treadmill this morning at the gym, one of the news shows interviewed experts on how to keep resolutions. Their big idea was remarkably similar to TGP. Basically, forget about yesterday and ask yourself how you are going to do today and what your goal for tomorrow is.

HMMM!!! Sounds a bit like Phil. 3:13-14: "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Chrst Jesus."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cat Allergies

Hidey Cat had her little yearly appointment last week and Big D. graciously agreed to help me take her. I am physically allergic to the cat so I really do need someone to hold her and I couldn't find her carrier anywhere. But D is emotionally allergic to the cat and he really didn't want to hold her all the way there so he insisted we find a box of some sort to transport her. The shoe box we found was vaguely amusing for a brief moment but we decided that it wasn't long term sustainable. She weighs 13 lbs. and she does have all her claws. So I found a file box with handles. It worked...until the end of the driveway when the most pathetic meows began to come from the box. It reminded us both of the time she got in a fight with our fishing poles and got her paws stuck together. That was pathetic and yet another trip to the vet!!! Anyways, you will be glad to know that Big D did take the lid off and petted her all the way to the office. I am beginning to wonder if his "allergies" are getting better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Home Sick Makes Me Homesick

Today I am stuck at home sick. I have had my share of colds and allergies in the last couple of years, but it has been a very long time since I had the whole fever thing...chills, headache, racking cough. ICK!! Aren't you glad you are reading this and not sitting next to me?! And in addition, I have 3 kids home with the same thing.

So here I am shuffling around in a robe, blanket, and slippers taking care of my kids when I personally just want my own mom to come tuck me in and bring me a cup of tea. Pathetic, but true. There is something about being sick that makes me homesick for my mom.

Growing up, my mom loved us kids dearly but did not believe in spoiling us. She is of true pioneer stock and somehow has a pain threshold to match which none of us kids inherited. But when one of us 5 kids got truly sick, Mom turned on the sympathy like crazy. I would eat saltine crackers and drink hot lemonade and she would read me books in bed under a "tent" of sheets. But by far, the most luxurious thing she did for me was to let me put my little replica of the Liberty Bell on my nightstand. When I needed something I would ring and she would come find out what I "required" of her. Truly!!

That little bell disappeared at some point and I hadn't thought of it for ages until this Christmas. Just this last Fall, Mom and Dad made another trip to the East Coast and for Christmas, one of my "funny" gifts was that little replica bell. I am tempted to put it on my nightstand for old times sake...but am a little afraid one of my kids will see it, want to know the story, and want to put it on their own nightstand. I don't think it is a tradition I care to pass down! (: But I will make them hot lemonade and I have a good supply of saltine crackers in the pantry so I think we will all be ok.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweet Tea Has Its Uses!!!

I don't often blog on Mondays. But today, something so phenomenol has happened of such great magnitude that I must record it for you and all posterity!

At 6:15 this morning, my husband cleaned out our refrigerator from top to bottom. So what prompted this unprecedented display of cleaning skills? Our 2 gallon pitcher of sweet tea succumbed to the pull of gravity as one of my sweet kids tried to slip the milk out from behind it. It was on the top shelf of course. But don't worry, all was not lost, as my optimistic kid pointed out. A gallon of tea managed to stay inside the pitcher in some miraculous way. What a relief!!

But all this has me thinking. My refrigerator is so sparkly clean! I am wondering if the same phenomena would happen if I spilled some sweet tea in the shower or in his closet or in the garage or in the car...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Looking at the World Through Smudgy Glasses

I have discovered in the last couple of months a new pet peeve: eyeglasses in need of cleaning. Not just my own, which I just noticed are a bit smudgy in the lower left corner, but also the eyeglasses belonging to people with whom I am having a conversation. Does anyone else have this pet peeve?

I assume that I never noticed this "issue" before because I didn't wear glasses and couldn't relate to how miserable looking at the world through smudgy glasses can be. Or perhaps, I just couldn't SEE the smudges because I NEEDED glasses so desperately myself!

Anyways! Last Saturday I passed up the opportunity to reach out and tangibly improve someone's view of the world around them and it is kind of haunting me. An older friend was watching her grandkids play basketball at the same time I watched J.'s team play. In the sleepy blur of waking early on a Saturday morning and scrambling our family out of the house, I had forgotten to put on my glasses. All things considered, it could have been worse. Out of all the other items of clothing I could forget to put on in my sleepy daze, that one is the least harm done!! And Big D drove so pedestrians and squirrels were safe from me blindly driving through the town.

But back to the game! This sweetheart of a lady see's me squinting, takes off her bifocals (!!!) and tells me to put them on and see if they help. And here is where I could have tangibly improved her outlook on life...they were the most smudged and dusty glasses I have ever noticed in the last few months of my new pet peeve. They literally had a base layer of smudge like a glaze over the glass with specks and additional smudges sprinkled across every little cm of those glasses.

So what did I do? Did I snatch those glasses from her and run to the ladies room and wash them sparkling clean? Of course not! I politely looked through them briefly and regretfully said they weren't my presciption. Ah!! An opportunity lost. Well, I am personally tired of looking at the world through smudgy glasses so I am off to de-smudge the specs!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's Just One of Those Days

Torpid topics rife with undeniably tedious qualities pervade my cranium. Thus, I will endeavor to ignite my creative thought process through the perusal of my reference-book-with-alphabetically-arranged-words.

Alas, creativity yet eludes me!

Therefore, I shall utilize abstruse verbage discovered in the aforementioned reference book, and close with the following inane utterance: writers-block stinks!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hidey the Huntress

I hope I am not becoming one of those annoying pet owners who dotes on their animals and always talks about them! I think I am pretty safe from that since it has never been a problem before. But then, I never had Hidey Cat before. Really, I am pretty new to cats, so the whole cat complicated-personna thing still amazes me.

Picture in your mind an extremely fluffy ball of multi-colored fur, weighing in at a healthy 13 lbs., and that is our Hidey. If we shaved her bald, she would probably weigh 3 lbs. She is an outdoor cat, since I am physically allergic and Big D and my second son are emotionally allergic to cats. But she sleeps in our garage on her throne (the lawn mower seat) and looks down upon us in lofty unconcern as we come and go. Even though she is well aware of her own worth, she has always been everything sweet to all of us, even Big D and M. She adores being held and loved and squeezed and petted. That is her soft, tame kitty side. But she definately has a wild and harsh side too, which we only see every once in awhile if we catch her on a hunt or stumble over her kill as we leave through the front door.

Yesterday Hidey the Huntress drug up to our front door owl!! A full grown, big claws and beak, owl! After we all admired her amazing prowess and "contribution" to our family, Big D took it to the high weeds for its burial/disposal. Thank goodness we don't have to eat what SHE kills on her hunts.

I was tempted to prop her little front paws on it and take her picture, kind of like the guys do with their hunting trophies, but I thought that might be taking it a step too far.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What My Latte Says About Me and My Responses:

I stole this survey from Kellie's blog over at La Vida Dulce. If you want to take the survey, click over to hers because I don't know how to get it on mine. (:

My latte of choice is caramel, regular, with skim milk and this is what the survey said:

"You don't treat yourself very often. (Nope, try again!) You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very disciplined life." (Nope! Still wrong.)

"You can be quite silly at times,(Yes, just most people don't see it!) but you know when to buckle down and be serious." (I am a 37 year old mother of 4 children...of course I can buckle down and be serious!)

"You have a good deal of energy, (from about 10:24AM - 10:36 AM!) but you pace yourself.( I try. I don't have that much energy to work with, remember. Refer back to # 2 if you want to know why.) You never burn out too fast." ( I am somewhat idealistic and so therefore I often burn out too fast. But then I bounce back to life. It all works out!)

"You're addicted to caffeine." (Likely, but the type found in tea, which will actually extend my life if you read the right internet data.) There's no denying it." (I'm not denying it so get off my back, ok?!)

"You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful,(Right, we already covered that in item 2. ) but you find it hard to be carefree." (Just give me a few minutes and I will get there!)

"You are sophisticated and daring, but you are never snobby." (I so have everyone fooled!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Avoidance isn't always a bad thing. For instance, Kellie at La Vida Dulce has found that avoiding the full-on media blitz that happens 24/7 in this country allows her a level of personal peace. I have another pal who keeps completely away from all alcohol because of the pain that abuse of alcohol has caused in her family.

But it isn't always good either. I personally avoid watching intense movies or reading intense books. For some reason, my imagination will place me in whatever scenario is unfolding and I will emotionally "experience" sadness, hurt, loneliness, loss, fear...whatever is taking place in the story.

So what is the big deal? How this affects my husband and my date night. He likes intense films. He thinks they are exciting and finds my standby entertainment of chick-flicks a little tedious.

Well, we have sat on 2 movies for the last week, both dramas. One was Pay it Forward and the other Amazing Grace. I felt totally hoodwinked by Pay it Forward's ending, but still managed to handle it fairly well. But I was avoiding Amazing Grace because I was afraid of how it would portray the horrors of slave trade.

I was wrong to avoid it for this long. Perhaps it wasn't the greatest film in the history of film making, but it held my attention so completely and was so moving that I was actually sorry when it came to an end. For Wilberforce to have persisted through years of discouragement and through so many obstacles to follow through on what he felt called was inspiring to me!! I need to learn from his example!!

And another lesson learned, I shouldn't avoid things just because they will be intense. That being said, there is balance in everything! I still don't want to give up on my chick-flicks, thank you very much.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

In Pursuit of Fullness

Fullness: filled to capacity; synonyms are perfection, satisfaction, entirety; antonyms are need, want, lack, insufficiency

But I am not pursuing physical fullness, though I have my share of times I gorge myself on chocolate chip cookies for just that reason. I am talking spiritual fullness, the kind that is real and true and comes only through relationship with Christ. I have spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks in preparation for a study at church on Experiencing the Fullness of God (Eph 3:19). Over the next 10 weeks, a friend and I are preparing and leading this study, and I have to tell you it is going to be convicting for me personally.

We had our first meeting this morning and we discussed the various things that pull our focus away from Christ and entrap us into thinking we will find satisfaction or fullness in anything else. It is easy to think about other people's lives and identify for them the things that are distracting them away from Christ. It is somewhat painful to look in the mirror and see things in my own life, some not even necessarily bad things, that woo me away from the experiencing the fullness of God. Things like laziness and selfishness. Things like the busy appointment book sitting in my purse. All sorts and lists of things that "need" to be done. Things like the internet. (OUCH!)

Though it hurts to see those things in me, it is actually a relief to identify those distracting gnats and swat them away through the power of prayer and the desire to be obedient. I know that some of them will soon buzz back around me. But I am committing to the discipline of swatting! I know that experiencing the fullness of God is something God desires for me to enjoy and so I am continuing to pursue it!

Friday, January 4, 2008

It Looked Fabulous...

in my mind! Unfortunately, reality didn't turn out so terribly fab!

I am talking specifically about the Missions bulletin board up at the church that I worked 4 hours on today. Yes! 4 hours!!

Sadly, there are lots of other things that could apply to also. For instance, the shade of yellow for my guest bathroom 2 houses ago. Or the shade of color I put on my hair a few months back. Or more recently, the "lavish" Christmas lights display around my front door and window which turned out a little pathetic.

But back to the Missions bulletin board. I have a friend who partners with me on this project once every couple of months. We do this together partly because we are friends and partly because no one else has volunteered to do it. Actually, that last reason is probably the main reason we do it, but anyways... She and I have about as much creativity between the two of us as a couple of squirrels but we do enjoy being around each other. Usually. At least for the first couple of hours when we are visualizing and planning and things are all fun and chatty. Once we realize how fast time is flying, and how what we visualized isn't developing, little things begin to frustrate us like the construction paper waves that look like Burger King crowns and the palm tree fronds that are too long and the... Anyways!! I promise you, it looked fabulous when it was in my mind!!!

We figure if anyone doesn't like it they can volunteer to do the next one!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Good WalMart Experience

I hate to say it, but I shop WalMart. I do so under silent protest. I dislike crowds, their clothes buyer, mass chaos and waiting in long lines. I like the comes down to that. But anyways, I undertook the necessary evil and actually had a pleasant experience, so I thought it was blog worthy.

The parking lot wasn't crowded so I got a great spot. The lady I bought the shrimp from gave me a yummy sounding recipe for seafood enchiladas. I skipped into a line that was open. And the sweet older gentleman who checked me out is certainly someones favorite grandpa. I asked him if he could tell me the low price on milk in town for price matching, and he said regretfully that he couldn't. He then handed me the sale ads for all the grocery stores in town with a big smile and a twinkle in his eye. If you knew how much milk we drink each week, you would see why this was a big deal to me.

So my first grocery shopping experience of 2008 has been positive. Considering Kellie's experience over at La Vida Dulce with shoe shopping and my grocery experience, perhaps I should head to the mall tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Really Good Morning!!

I am having the most spoiled and luxurious morning!!

I woke up at 5:30 when Big D got up to go to work (poor sap), and I was relieved to hear him utter the words, "snow day" as he kissed me goodbye. I drifted right back to sleep until J woke me up at 9:30!!!!! As of last night at bedtime, the kids had school today. So J woke up in a bit of a panic, but she has recovered nicely in front of the cartoons.

Since 9:30, I have been drinking tea and catching up with my bloggy friends in my fuzzy warm white robe. It really is such a luxury, after the rush and fun of the holidays!! We just got back in town last night from being with family down south.

I loved seeing the holiday pictures and hearing the holiday musings from friends in Texas, Arizona, and China. Blessings on your new year, guys! I am looking forward to seeing how we grow and change in the Lord this coming year. I appreciate your friendship!!