Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Simple Post

FOR TODAY July 30, 2008...
Outside My overcast and cool. Same as last week. We had some really nice sunny weather in between though. This summer reminds me of when we came up for our honeymoon thirteen years ago.
I am thinking...that I really need to be grateful for what I have. I tend to think more on the what I should be doing or have instead of what God has blessed me with. I think it is probably something most of us can identify with and wish we couldn't.
I am thankful for...being able to stay home with my children. That I have the time and opportunity to read to them. They are very creative and do quite a bit outside. I am trying hard to have movies be a treat. They enjoy being outdoors and with each other (for the most part anyway).
From the absolute quiet. The dishes have been done. There is bread in the bread box. The box was a thoughtful gift from my sil. The bread I made yesterday. There are blueberries in the fridge that I need to put in bags and freeze. Also the left overs from my experimental Jambalaya soup that turned out pretty well last night are in the fridge. I have cooked ground beef in there as well. Now I have to decide if I am going to reserve the soup tonight with salad or if I am going to freeze it and use the beef in something.
I am wearing...a navy blue sweat shirt, wild-floral jammy pants that TODR says resemble curtain material, funny (but warm) socks and hair down long. I sometimes wear my exercise clothes (like in this instance) until after I ride my exercise bike. Then I wash and change into more presentable stuff. I always wear certain jewelry items.
I am creating...clean laundry, a mental note of what to serve for lunch and deciding on dinner.
I am going...ride my exercise bike, make lunch, fold laundry and decide on dinner eventually.
I am reading...I finished Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman yesterday, Phillipians, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs (with my children) and Romans (with my husband because he is working on memorizing it-he is up to Chapter 4 vs. 2 today).
I am lose weight. I haven't had much success even though I have been working on it.
I am hearing...Train Conductor Dave being a goober.
Around the washer is working (for which I am incredibly grateful), my children are watching an educational (and short) video, my phone ringing with a lame recording being on the other side not anyone exciting like I had hoped (TODR hasn't called yet today:( and a fort that the children created outside around our apple trees.
One of my favorite my foot massager. I am thinking on getting more info. on feet stuff. I am also thinking about purchasing some herbal foot bath from this site and then maybe I could make my own.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...going to visit a friend on Thurs. that I haven't seen for a long time and our kids can play while we catch up, Fri. I will probably catch up on everything I should have done Thurs., Sat. we are planning on the blueberry festival.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
I am remembering to post THE LINK too.

She tagged me!

My friend, Bucca, tagged me. I am supposed to share six random things about myself and then tag six people to do the same.

1. On cold winter nights my husband has me crawl into bed. He then uses the hairdryer to warm up the whole bed. It is such a lovely feeling. We usually left the hairdryer next to our bed. I have often wondered what our babysitters, Kacey and Barbara, used to think.

2. I really like artichokes, GOOD CHOCOLATE, and popcorn. I really dislike plain milk, Miracle Whip and dirty toilet seats (especially ones that are left up).

3. My favorite clothing item in sixth grade was a neon pink shirt that I had gotten for Christmas. I even had earrings that matched. They were long with a different colored neon bead on the end of three little "stems" on each earring. I felt so cool when I wore them. Now it is my husband that wears neon (orange) all the time. I don't think it is so cool anymore. I still think HE is cool though.

4. Before I had children I really, really thought I would enjoy pregnancy and breastfeeding more than I have. I love my children and wouldn't trade anything in the world for them. I get so sick when I am pregnant that it is hard for me to have a good attitude let alone fulfill my obligations. I don't mind breastfeeding my babies. I believe it is the healthiest option for everyone involved. I have had to give it up a couple of times and it made me sad. It just isn't that incredibly bonding experience that it seems to be for some others. Every time I have seen my precious little one on ultrasound it makes all the pregnancy nausea/vomitting worth it, but not any easier. It always makes me lean on the Lord. I have so much compassion on those dealing with chronic issues. I am sick for months, but at the end I get an incredible pay off. Folks dealing with chronic illness see no end in sight.

5. I battle with myself often. I really, really want to be ultra organized. I mean really organized! Like I would like all my books alphabetized, everything in containers with labels and all clothes folded in their drawers. I wish all my furniture matched and I had a "country living" home. On the other hand I desperately want my children to have happy memories of childhood. I want them to remember that mom let them play with bubbles in the sink, that they could make a mess (as long as they cleaned it up afterwards) and people felt welcome in our home. I had a friend once with a perfectionist mother. She had plastic all over her matching furniture and rugs. Her house was perfect. She always seemed unhappy. I truly don't want to live in a bubble. If you saw my house, you would know that the latter IS winning.

6. I am tired of the comment that I look good for HAVING HAD SEVEN KIDS. I just want to look great. I am sure it is pride. My husband and children ALWAYS tell me how beautiful I am. I know my husband wouldn't want me to be too skinny. I really would love to fit into my wedding gown (not that I even still own it). I have had many well-intentioned folk give me tips. I seriously don't have time to sit around and eat. I feel like I did when I was pregnant the first time. Everyone had advice. My grandmother even went so far as to say that I was sick because I didn't think positively enough. Maybe I am just not in the positive zone right now.

Okay, I am tagging...

Rebecca at the Washington Walkers. You didn't call "no tag-backs," but I am. Ha-ha!

Michele at Frugal Granola.


TODR at This is The Day.

Sharon at In My Father's Garden.

Valerie at Bound by Grace.

I am hoping the last two will be encouraged to post again:)

Okey, Dokey...ARTE Y PICO

Up until recently we had a WONDERFUL FAMILY that lived across the street from us. We knew when the landlords put a for sale sign in front of our neighbor's house that our time with them that close was limited. We didn't get together as much as either of us would have liked, but we did share some good times. Sharon made some exquisite cakes for our daughters' birthday party one year. She and her Mister came over for fireworks one Fourth of July. Things like that. I know that it was a good move for them to be closer to the Mister's job AND they own their own home for the first time in their wedded life. I still miss their quiet presence across the street. I miss Sharon's face at church much of the time. I am thankful for the internet so we can still be involved with each others' lives. Sharon awarded our blog the ARTE Y PICO AWARD. In honor of her I am taking the time to pass on this lovely award.

Here are the awards. I have many blogs that I get an incredible amount of encouragement and insight from. I cannot list them all so here are the requisite five.

I must give the first award to my first blog friend ever: Valerie at Bound by Grace. We connected on a weblog a couple of children ago. She was brave enough to send me her e-mail. She then got a blog. I had never seen one by an average person only those gnarly ones that people pay money for others to design for them. If it hadn't been for this wonderful lady on the other side of the country I would probably still not be part of the blogasphere.

Number 2 needs to go to Carmon Friedrich. My friend, Valerie (mentioned above), recommended this lovely lady's blog. She is the woman that enables me to not delve into controversial subjects too much. She is so very intelligent. She seems to always be very mindful of the Biblical reasons for the way she lives her life. She graciously disagrees with her opponents. I can only remember one time, out of all the years I have read her blog, that she let her ascerbic wit get "a bit out of hand." She then apologized to the one on the receiving end. As an aside, I thought she showed great restraint even in that situation. I thought the woman deserved it, honestly. She probably could have used the dictionary Carmon offered her as well:) So if you want a look into a wonderful mom's life (one that has even more children than I do as well as more brains) check out her site.

Even though she is on a blog break I still have to honor the Engstrom Mama. I met her online through Carmon's blog a few years ago. Then I checked out her blog. THEN I recognized her youngest girl (so far) at a Desiring God conference almost two years ago. We met face to face. It was so fun. That summer her family took a chance and hosted our family for the Love and Respect conference their church did. Unfortunately, PapaPyro was detained on business so we didn't get to see him that trip. We did get to stay with some other wonderful people. We have since then gotten to visit them a few times. They are neat people with a down-home hospitality that says CHRISTIAN. MamaK inspires me quite a bit.

Okay, number four...I will have to do the next logical blog...
Looking Through the Lens. This young lady is a beautiful person inside and out. If you look at her pictures on her blog you can catch her artistic eye. She has some photos (okay, some of them are of MY kids) that made me cry from sheer beauty. Check it out, I think you will be impressed too.

Last, but definately not least...
I am going to award Frugal Granola. I have been acquianted this lovely lady for a while. It has been through the blog world that I have gotten to actually know her. She is very transparent and inspiring with her posts. Her love for the Lord, her family and simple living is beautifully displayed on her blog. Everything on it is tranquil from her music to the lovely layout. Take time out to add her blog to a ritual in your life, you won't regret it.

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award, be it through creativity, design, or interesting material, and that also contributes to the blogger community, no matter the language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) Award winners and the one who has given the award have to show the link of "Arte y pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Show these rules.

One down.................

I have much to do....

I have quite a bit to catch up on. I am not very quick when it comes to the computer techy stuff. It takes me a bit to post something with links and the like in it. I have been awarded a few different things that I am going to attempt to get on my blog today. If you haven't noticed I have also been trying to do the Simple Woman's Daybook every Wed.

I have still to e-mail a beautiful, young lady to see if I could use one of her copyrighted pictures on my blog. It is such an incredible picture and since I know the models it is even more so to me.

I think I fixed the mess up on my camera-computer link, but I have no batteries for my camera. It is one of those items that when someone says they are going to town and if I need anything, my mind blanks. I then remember after everyone is in bed for the evening. Oh well. The pictures are on the camera and my children will not grow up thinking their mom didn't care (well, at least about getting them captured on film:).


Friday, July 25, 2008

The Pig Story

Thirteen years ago today I was planning my wedding which was still three weeks away. I was giddy and excited. THE ONLY THING I COULD THINK OR TALK ABOUT WAS THE WEDDING. I admit that I probably was a very boring conversationalist at the time. We were on a fixed budget that we were trying to stay within. We were blessed with so much help and lovely things (like all the flowers were donated by one of my mom's student's family).

I learned a great many things during this time. I hope that I learned my lessons well considering I HAVE FIVE DAUGHTERS to eventually marry off. One thing I learned was that often busy-body, no scratch that, well-intentioned friends and relatives have ideas about your wedding. Every body seems to have an idea of what they think your wedding needs to entail and they are personally affronted when you don't incorporate said idea/s. They also want you to pay for said idea/s. When you get his and hers friends and family it can get crazy exponentially very quickly.

Now enters the pig...

My mom was a teacher at a christian school so she had lots of contacts and resources. She also was trying to lighten the mood, bless her socks off! One night, as I was feeling overwhelmed by all the hoopla, my mom opened up the prom decorating catalog she had stolen, er, um, borrowed from school. We all proceeded to pour over the pages and laugh at all our ideas. You could have any theme you wanted! There was the Hawaiian one, the Country one...we some how got stuck on the huge paper mache' volcano. Then the full-size pig cut-outs and hay stacks for the barn theme. It was funny. My mom made an imitation invitation for our wedding (much harder in those pre-computer days). It has something to do with the full-moon we would be sacrificing a couple of pigs to the volcano...
It was so funny and broke up all the gloom of overblown expectations. We would joke about the pig or volcano kind of thing often when things got too serious.

I mean really...A marriage is serious. We make vows before God and man. On the other hand it is a party and we should have fun, right? It probably is a good idea to have all the pressure beforehand so maybe the bride and groom will know if they can make it through such family heated things. How do so many couples make it through this pressure then divorce later over trivial things? I don't know-rabbit trail...

Back to the story...

My mom then bought a pig. No, not a live one. One of those old-fashioned, toy kind that took batteries and would move and oink. She decorated it with green ribbon. Then when Mr. and Mrs. Brian Heath were announced at the reception there that thing was oinking all over the dance floor. Those in the know thought it was hysterical. We laughed.

A while later when we were announcing the expectant arrival of our first child to my mom...
I dressed the pig up like a baby and gave it to her. Thus beginning a thirteen year tradition of pass the pig. It has been passed between my mom and I for Christmases or announcements. You never knew when the pig would show up. The pig disappeared for a number of years only to resurface last year. My sister had it. She unearthed it and sent it up here to announce her move to the area from CA. The pig is now in my mom's possession. Who knows when and how it will pop up...

Every once and a while my mom and I come across some cute pig things. We try not to overdo it because, as with anything, pigs can become too much. People find out you "collect" something and then you wind up with all kinds of yard sale material (or another town's thrift store dependent on the giver of said item). Unless, of course, you collect money... Maybe I will try that tack some time.

There you have it. The legendary pig story.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trying to stay regular

FOR TODAY July 23, 2008...
Outside My overcast and cool. It is actually a nice change from all the really warm weather we have been having.
I am many random thoughts I don't have room to write them down.
I am thankful my life has turned out. I never thought I would have all these kids or be married let alone STILL married to the man I STILL WANT to be married to.
From the kitchen...come the lovely sounds of my oldest son washing dishes.
I am wearing...a navy blue sweat shirt, navy blue sweat pants, funny (but warm) socks and hair up in a clip.
I am creating...children to be motivated to do their chores. Ha-ha.
I am have to get the electric cattle prod out.
I am reading...I need to find a new book to read, Ephesians, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs and Romans.
I am hoping...that I can wait to go to the bathroom until after I have this post done.
I am hearing...children playing and chattering when they SHOULD be doing their chores.
Around the house...morning stuff that needs to be done. It will get done eventually.
One of my favorite having friends know that they can drop off their laundry at our house.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...have extra kiddos over Thurs. and Fri. Checking out a friend's garage sale, Sat. Prep. day and Sunday sabbath fellowship.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The Bible says the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved. The man in this picture had stepped out to see if it was the rescue helicopter coming for them. Reportedly he stepped back into the lighthouse moments before he would have been swept off by that huge wave. Contrary to popular saccarine christian teaching, life isn't a cake walk when you become a christian. We still are subject to the storms of life. We just have the strong tower to run into instead of being left awash in the sea with no anchor.

I forgot the link in my hurry for the bathroom!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mr. Incredible Does It Again!

There are tragedies and then there are TRAGEDIES! One such TRAGEDY hit our household yesterday afternoon (with a house full of people no less). Our washing machine bit the dust. That might be ho-hum to some folk, but to a mom of seven it is cataclysmic. When it is summer time, I have extra children over AND everyone is in the water it is horrible exponentially! The worst part is that it is mostly my fault that the washer is broken. I have overworked the poor thing with loads too big for it. I have also heard it spinning with a sickening "thud-thud-thud" sound (more often than I care to admit) and run in to rebalance or thin the load. When that happens I correct my mistake, but the damage has been done.

My friend's dryer is currently broken. She has been line drying a bunch and using my dryer a bit. She sent a load over to dry with some kiddos and the babysitter (to dry the load of laundry not the kiddos and the babysitter that is). So I had lots of wet kiddos and no towels. I had huge mounds of building up laundry. I had TODR and his best buddy getting in my smallish laundry room trying to figure out the problem. I had my friend's laundry to dry. I did what any self-respecting woman would do: I moved the laundry to my room, told the kiddos to dry out in the sun and put my friend's laundry in the dryer. Then I got out of the way of the menfolk.

We had a total of 7 adults and 11 eaters (that is children old enough to consume food on their own) as well as two babies in our house while this all was going on. You know what? We had fun anyway. The menfolk hauled the dryer out onto the back porch. They found the problem and what part needed to be ordered. We all ate some really awesome prime rib (I can say that because my brother-in-law made it and it was FINE. Bucca we have a wee little bit of leftovers, in case your are interested). The kiddos played dress-up and were hysterical. We played music, talked and ate some great strawberry shortcake. Everyone pitched in to help clean up.

Today TODR took Second Son to the appliance store and got the part. They "made" a friend of ours take 'em out for a burger (at least that is the report I got:). TODR got the washer to work for a grand total of $20.00 and a bit of sweat and blood. Right now there is a second load of wash being agitated in that faithful appliance.

I know TODR had some help, but I am still so impressed with him. I enjoy flowers and all the fee-fee stuff. I have to say that my washer being restored to me with a small amount of money and no recriminations from my hubby has got to be at the top of the list. Hmmm....I wonder what I can do to thank him.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008


When TODR and I got married we had vastly different eating habits. I was a happy vegetarian whilst he thought the four food groups were Burger King, Wendy's, McDonald's and Carl's Junior. Now TODR is not really fussy about food. His dislikes don't even make up a whole hand full of fingers. That made it pretty easy.

Through out the years I have learned to cook with meat. Admittedly I do still have a steak disability. If TODR really wants steak he gets it while we eat out (which is few and far between). That is okay because I have yet to find a good recipe for broccoli cheddar soup so I usually have to wait for a trip out as well. During our first year together I had to learn how to cook for us as a couple. I worked at a bank when we first got married. I also was the happy owner of a small crockpot and a bread machine. A staple meal in our new little home was soup, bread machine bread (it had a timer) and a salad. Now I use a huge crockpot (I really want a bigger one:) and make hand make bread or muffins to go with the contents.

Each additional child makes the cooking needs for our family a new frontier. I have a hard time serving junk to my family. I also have a hard time paying the prices for much of the pre-packaged food. I have always made most of my own baby food. I order the brown rice organic baby cereal from our co-op. My children usually have choices for snack like pretzels, fruit or yogurt. It is also extremely hard for me to buy food at a restaurant that I know I can make better, tastier and cheaper at home. (That leaves me eating broccoli cheddar soup or Chinese when we go out. I don't seem to be able to get the hang of those.)

Last month I ordered 25 pounds of whole wheat pastry flour by mistake from our co-op. It turned out to be a great mistake. I had no idea how well this whole wheat would work. I went back and put it on our favorites so I can purposefully order it next time. So I am experimenting with our breads. I am also making new and different breakfast muffins. I used strawberries two mornings ago. Those turned out pretty fine. I used oranges this today. I have found that if I use applesauce no matter what "flavor" then the muffins turn out really moist every time (so much for Costco.:) I can't wait until our local blueberry farm is open for business!

I also got a Smoothie maker for Christmas. I am learning some basic smoothie recipes. My big experiment right now is a Green Tea Frappe'. I have my favorite lemongrass green tea steeping right now so I can freeze it into ice cubes. I intend to see if I can't make a yummy drink that is more healthy than Starbucks. My children are loving all the experimenting and are willing guinea pigs. They are anxiously awaiting the green tea.

Anyone have any smoothie or bread recipes to share? If you happen to have a really good broccoli-cheddar soup recipe let me know!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why is simplicity so hard?

FOR TODAY July 16, 2008...
Outside My Window...are sheets that still need to come in now that they are dry.
I am thinking...I am so thankful for my thoughtful husband for giving me a night off. I desperately needed it.
I am thankful for...the Lord still working with me and conforming to the likeness of His Son even when I don't see much hope.
From the kitchen...I have taco soup in the crockpot keeping warm for TODR, "moldy" chips (guacomole), sour dough starter starting and my husband's lunch packed and in the fridge for tomorrow.
I am anklet, green nail polish on toenails and fingernails, brown bohemian skirt with peach in it, peach shirt and hair in a clip. Still no shoes.
I am creating... a new attitude, I hope.
I am let my nail polish finish drying and then I am going to take a really long shower.
I am reading...3 Steps Forward and 2 Steps Back by Chuck Swindoll, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs and Romans.
I am hoping...that the baby will go back to sleep if I give her the binky back that I am sure she spit out and ended up under her crib.
I am going and a baby crying.
Around the house...everything is as tidy as it is going to get tonight. I still have my foot bath/massager out and it needs to be emptied.
One of my favorite taking care of my feet and painting my nails wild colors.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...finish off V.B.S. with the kids, try to keep Sat. as a preperation day, go to Love and Respect Sat. night, rent a movie for the kids for that night, hopefully make some decent bread for lunches that my husband likes.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Most of the time I am the happy ball. Some times I get blue. I love this picture TODR found on the internet. He finds such cool pix for his weblog!
The Simple Woman's Daybook Link!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Humble Heaths

Last night at Vacation Bible School our oldest son answered a question. The girl asking mentioned HOW SMART HE WAS. Our oldest daughter piped up, "Well, we are homeschooled!" I had to leave the fellowship hall for laughing so much. We might be smart, but I have doubts on the humility trait:)

Changes to the Household

I have felt the need, intensely lately, to simplify my life. I need to institute some major disciplines in our household or as one movie character said, "I will go insane and I will take you with me!" Now I do constantly have people tell me that they are amazed at how I "do it all." My house is definately not in the running for Country Living Magazine. Neither is it just this side of condemned.

It just seems that my household doesn't lack ability they lack incentive. If the Mama is home then everybody is forced to get their chores done, school is accomplished and everything runs smoothly. Of course, children always try things when a babysitter is present or life is a little different. I am not expecting perfection. I do however want to some how motivate my children to learn CHARACTER. As I was sharing with my sil the other day; I would rather have strange looking children (maybe some dyed hair or something silly like that) with a heart for God than children that are clean-cut, toe-the-line and have pharaisical hearts far from the Living Lord. So how do I do that?

The Bible says that if the Lord doesn't build the house then we labor in vain. It also says that I can do and be many things, but if I have not love I am nothing. It also warns of the woman whose feet are never at home, but constantly running around spreading gossip. Of course Proverbs 31 has much to say on a keeper at home's character. Hmmmm...

How does that all come into play? I do believe that the Lord's Word is sufficient for all of life. What does that really mean in the day to day grind of my life?

I have been truly convicted as of late, ironically enough, from a couple of lines from Sense and Sensibility. Elinor asks Willoughby about Colonel Brandon, "Why should you dislike him so much?" To which Willoughby replies, "Why should I like him? A man that everyone speaks well of, but never speaks to." I don't want that to be like my relationship with the Lord of the Universe. Do I speak well of Him? Do I read about Him? Discuss Him? Think about Him? Then fail to speak to Him and LISTEN to Him?!?!

I am not feeling like I need to have "the sacred quiet time." I do feel that I need to institute some major core changes in our household so the Mama can spend some intimate time with her Savior. I recognize the truth one author on Ladies Against Feminism wrote about: Me time can turn into a quest for yet more me time that turns into shirking our familial duties and giving into selfishness. We do however need to get time alone with the Lord. That refreshes us and envigorates us to serve our God-given blessings. So Lord willing I am getting things in order.

Some changes I have made are to the chores. We don't have allowances, but we have instituted Heath tokens. Each Monday Kindergarten and above children receive eight. It is up to them to keep them. Chores rotate on a chart so no child is stuck with a chore they detest. They might have to do it today, but they know they won't have to do it tomorrow. If they aren't finished with chores at devotion time in the mornings then they give up a token. Tokens are good for computer time, movies and gum. If another child does a person's chores for them then that child gives a token to the chore doer. It is an experiment right now. We will try it and evaluate it. It seems to be a pretty good deal right now.

I am also really trying to have Saturday be my Day of Preperation! The Jews took their Sabbaths seriously. We generally have guests on Sundays. I LOVE having company and an open home. That has translated into no days off for the Mama. I have tried a few times now to do all the work for Sunday on Saturday. It has turned out really well. While the boys work outside on Sat. I work inside. This last Saturday I made pancakes that lasted until Sun. morning. I baked four loaves of bread and had our contribution to the Sunday Potluck done. While we have Love and Respect on Sat. nights this month I can't have everyone bathed before bed, but we will get back to it. I usually have little girls bathed and in their jammies. The boys usually take showers Sunday morning (they don't need mom's help anymore). This past shopping trip I even figured out menus for Sundays. When the food is at our house, I can make sandwiches ahead of time for lunch. I also can put stuff in the crockpot and just pop it in on Sundays. I hope to really establish this as a routine. It makes Sundays time I can relax and enjoy our company.

I think we can benefit from the wisdom of our forefathers if we care to pay attention:) I also know that if we ask God, He is faithful to give us wisdom. So here goes...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Another Simple Day

FOR TODAY July 9, 2008...
Outside My sunny and beautiful. My boys are outside working. They are cleaning up the branches that got trimmed off of two trees out by our fence.
I am thinking...of child discipline ideas, what I should get to take on my anniversary trip next month, ways to get away and not be selfish, and balancing fun things this summer as well as taking time to read.
I am thankful for...beautiful summer days, TODR, my children and friends.
From the oldest daughter is making lunch for all the small girls. She complained about her chores and that mommy was mean. We switched chores for the day.
I am wearing...toering (a birthday gift from TODR), funky aqua skirt, plain fuschia tunic top and my hair up in a clip. Funny it is the same thing I was wearing last week! I am still wearing "skin shoes" too.
I am creating...a healthy attitude towards the essentials of life and a big family. I also need to get some new check-off charts for reading and assignments done. We seem to do better with charts.
I am stay home today and have a normal routine.
I am reading...I Dared to Call Him Father (still)! How to Make Children Mind without Losing Yours by Kevin Leman, Pearls of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by the Mali Siblings (with my children), Proverbs and Romans.
I am hoping...that two of the couples that were iffy about Love and Respect come and turn out to be glad they did.
I am boys now making their lunch in the kitchen and my girls eating their lunch in the dining room.
Around the house...the stuff is put away from our trip this weekend, the baby is peacefully sleeping in her bed, the small girls are eating their lunch, the boys are making their lunch, the temperature is warm, but not unpleasant so the windows are open. The sun is streaming through the windows. I am typing semi-peacefully on our blog on our computer that is placed in the kitchen (it actually ends up being inbetween the kitchen area and the dining room).
One of my favorite having people over (it is better when my house is clean, but I am learning that people are more important than housework).
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...tomorrow go to the bank and run errands, Friday go out-town and do bulk shopping, Saturday starts our five week video series of Love and Respect, Sunday is church and potluck. I also need to make an orthodontist appointment and dentist appointments.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Sharing treasures and new experiences. I am a lot like my daughter pictured here. I try to be friendly even though I feel timid inside.
The link for The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bucca showed me something new

FOR TODAY July 2, 2008...
Outside My one Chevy 3/4 ton green truck named "Mater," one Dodge Ram 12-seater van (also green) named "The Pickle," and a white Toyota truck a.k.a. the Tweekermobile.
I am new computer tricks are so cool as is the friend that taught me how to do them.
I am thankful for...all the wonderful ways my friends and family have made me feel so special today because it is my birthday.
From the kitchen...issue smells of popcorn.
I am wearing...toering (a birthday gift from TODR), funky aqua skirt, plain fuschia tunic top and my hair up in a clip.
I am creating...a new blog post, duh!
I am go to Plaza Jalisco tonight for dinner with the family.
I am reading...I Dared to Call Him Father.
I am be grateful for all the blessings that I have and not be silly by dwelling on what I don't have.
I am hearing...Silverado in the background, Bucca making ice tea and talking to my Tiger girl and to the cool music I have added to my blog.
Around the laundry that really should get folded and put away on my couch, my children playing outside with a friend, trash from oatmeal cookies on my table and babies sleeping. All is fine because the laundry will get put away and it will come again, but special time with friends is to be treasured above the "shoulds."
One of my favorite swinging on my swing holding my baby.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...going to visit the Engstroms for 4th of July weekend and recovering from that trip.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Here is the link.

The Hand of Providence

TODR and I have had some really rocky points to our marriage. Now we know that God had us for one another from the beginning. Statistically we shouldn't be together still. In fact, according to statistics, both of should be in some really undesirable places. Thankfully God is not a God of statistics. We are coming to realize that He does delight in using the foolish things of this world to show His Glory. That is why we were pretty reluctant to offer the Love and Respect stuff.

The truth is we still spin on the crazy cycle. It is heartening to know that the Eggerichs do to. They get to practice what they preach. So maybe we do too. I think the key is not to NOT FAIL, but when we fail to not think everything is over. TODR came from a household of two divorces and two remarriages. I come from a line of divorce, my grandparents even divorced in a time when that was almost unheard of. So you can see why the only reason that we are together and not in jail is God. I think that is one of the reasons God has decided to use us in presenting the Love and Respect conference to our church family. I know from experience that it is hard to take even well-meant help from someone I may perceive as not having a clue of what I am going through. It is so much easier from someone that has been there.

That said...
God has just put so many things in motion. We have been coralled into presenting this stuff. All of it would take to much to post so I want to narrow it down to the funds aspect of it.

We feel convicted to use our money to present this stuff so it doesn't cost others to attend. We went ahead and put a sign-up sheet out to see if people wanted even to participate. We found out how much the conference books were ($7.00 a piece), how much shipping would be (free with a $50.00 min. purchase) and how long it would take to get to us (about a week). So we put this past Mon. down as the day we needed to order the books. Thursday we received an unexpected check for $51.47. Sunday we counted up how many books we needed to order: 10. Okay, so that made our order for $70.00 right? Now we figured that it would be costing us roughly $19.00 above our unexpected windfall. Not too bad. We could swing that. We ordered and it came up for $70.00. Our confirmation e-mail the next day quoted $50.00!?!? I called Love and Respect this morning. It seems that their website hasn't been updated and if you order 10 or more of the conference books they drop down to $5.00 a piece. So we just made the minimum for the $5.00 rate and the minimum for free shipping and handling and God sent us the money to cover it all! If you figure in the $$$ to make the phone calls everything comes out to the check amount.

Do you think God could be anymore obvious? I don't either.


Finally, realize that God doesn't make mistakes. One of my closest friends relates that when she was a new bride at twenty-three years old, she was very shaken up when she discovered that her sweet husband had this thought-life issue. She cried out to God, "Why did You create him like this?" And then she realized: God did create him like this, and He said His creation was good. We may be fallible, but we are created the way we are for a purpose.

This quote from Shaunti Feldhahn's book For Women Only captures the essence of her book. Since TODR and I have gone through the Love and Respect seminar the concepts in this book are not new to me. They were new to me just a year ago and I believe they are incredibly important. We women think, breath and function in the language of love. Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs would say that we have pink hearing aids, pink sunglasses and pink megaphones. I think many people in our "love dominated culture" assume that men and women speak the same language. This book with its myth-shattering titles blow the pink whistle for us loud and clear. Titles like "Your love is NOT enough, Why Your Respect Means More to Him than Even Your Affection" and "Sex Changes Everything, Why Sex Unlocks a Man's Emotions (Guess Who Holds the Key?) Again Eggerichs would put it in terms of color; Men have blue hearing aids, blue sunglasses and blue megaphones. This book translates our men's respect issues or blue needs into pink so we women can understand.

Our culture often depicts men as a bunch of clods who have no desire to be romantic.
We even put that kind of sentiment on everything from cards and magnets to T-shirts. It is considered acceptable. Yet if we said that all blacks were idiots, we would be racist. If we said women were subhuman, we would be chauvinist pigs. So why is it okay to do that to our men that were created in the image of Almighty God? I think the Biblical answer is that it isn't acceptable. I think this book also helps women understand why it is also downright detrimental to our marriages and relationships with our men. It also tells us why. Isn't it easier to meet a need when we understand where that person is coming from? If we marginalize a person's needs simply because we don't understand we have marginalized that person.

I have come to see how we women can unwittingly marginalize our men simply because we don't understand their needs. If you want to join me in unlocking the secrets of the great guy you are married to then I would highly recommend this book. Warning: It has brain-twisting ideas in it that you might need to pray through, but you and your men will appreciate the effort. I say men because it helps with all relationships from brothers to sons and even our girlfriends because of how we talk about our men to them.

So buy, borrow (just don't steal) a copy of this book. Strap yourselves in, it's going to be a bumpy ride.