Friday, March 30, 2012

"He knows it's scary to be us."

"Yes, beloved, He does.   He does not take lightly that some of us were raised in a veritable madhouse.   He does not take lightly that some of us have been mentally berated or physically beaten or sexually abused or simply abandoned.   He does not take lightly that some of us are still trying to recover from that midnight phone call.    He does not take lightly that some of us were born with legs that don't work.   Or eyes that can't see.   Or ears that can't hear.   He does not take lightly that some of us have endured the cancer treatment of our very own children.   He does not take lightly that some of us, Lord help us, have buried our own children.

He knows it's scary to be us.

The thunder crashes in the heavens, and the earth grows dark in the middle of the afternoon, and a man, beaten to a bloody pulp, cries from a cross between two thieves, "It is finished!"   Because He did, one day God will wipe away every tear from the eyes of those who trusted Him, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away and all our hardship will be finished.
                                 ........................... So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore 

With my most favorite holiday quickly approaching, I'm thinking about an old rugged cross, and then most importantly, an empty tomb.  

I love Easter!   I love everything about it.

And I loved these two paragraphs from Beth Moore's book So Long, Insecurity.   In whatever you may be struggling with today, take comfort in knowing He knows.   He knows it's scary.   He knows it's hard.   He knows. day because He knows, "all our hardship will be finished!"

Hope you find something to enjoy this weekend :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A funny tag-on

I found this funny poem and couldn't resist sharing.   I thought it is was a perfect "tag-on" to my last post.  Enjoy!

The Girl in a Whirl

by ‘Dr. Sue’
(a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)
Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do
If you only knew how.

I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake,
I upholster,
I scrub,
and I pray.

I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.

I help in their classrooms!
I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice!
I cut all their hair!

I play the piano!
I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle!
My checkbooks all balance!

Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)

I’m taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all …
I track my bad habits ‘til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed!
My toenails are polished!

Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.

I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!

I read to my children!
I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.

I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all …

I write in my journal!
I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write “thank you’s” to those I admire.

My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A’s!
And their bedrooms are clean!

I have a home business to help make some money;I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.

I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.

I make sure I rotate our two-years’ supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!

These things are not hard;
It’s good if you do them;
You can if you try!
Just set goals and pursue them!

It’s easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!

It’s easy!” she said …
... and then she dropped dead.

Now get busy girls!  You have lots to accomplish!
Hope you find happy on this bright and sunny Spring day :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Supermom? Not really.........

Rushing around makes me crazy.   I lose my temper.   I lose my train of thought.   I lose my patience.   I lose my kind words.   I lose my happiness.   I lose my sanity.    And in the midst of all the losing, my children lose the most.   I hate to be too busy, with too much on my plate, and not enough time to finish it all.   I do not do well under certain types of pressure.


And under that pressure I forget that my children are a blessing and that my husband is a gift.   And that God has so graciously provided us a comfortable home, a way to go, clothes, and plenty to eat.   Much less all the unneccessary 'things' He has given.

Can anyone relate?!

So with that being said, why do we as women/mothers believe in order to 'be somebody' we have to live up to the so-called supermom title?   There is no such thing as super-mom.   We are all humans.   We all fail.   We all get tired, worn out, frustrated, overwhelmed, and frazzled to our wit's end.


But today, in order to be worthy of holding a place in our society, we aren't allowed to just be the mama.   Or just be the wife.   Or just be the piano teacher.   Or just be the secretary.   We are pushed over the ledge by pressure to be more.   To actually "be somebody" we must do it all.   Be it all.  A mother, wife, secretary, classroom volunteer.   Work in the nursery, teach Sunday School, Children's Church, sing in the choir and never miss a Wednesday night service.   We must have the best house, drive the nicest car, wear the best size 4's money can buy.  Keep our houses spotless.   Dress our children in the finest and by all means be sure they are involved in every activity there is trying to ensure their popularity and status in life.


Wipe their snotty noses, clean their stinky hineys, feed them the best foods, dry their tears, scratch their backs, play with their toys, and all the while, do it with a smile, plenty of energy, and looking like we just stepped out of a magazine.    And........don't forget about daddy.   Gotta make time for him.    Uhhhhhhhhhhh, I feel exhausted just thinking about it.   Is there an answer?    A way out of the rat-race.

I came across a post from one of my favorite blogs called Clover Lane.    In this particular post, she addresses these same issues.   I was so happy to read and learn from a seasoned mother of five {with #6 on the way}.   I have included some of her words here in this post, but be sure to check out her awesome blog and read the whole story.   Sarah shares wonderful advice on just about every issue a mom could face.    And the best part about her story is she's 'been there - done that', so she's speaking from experience.

*Words in italics are from Clover Lane.....
Once a year I feel a deep need to write a post like this one. Usually there is a trigger or triggers that prompt me to feel the need to do so. One of the triggers this time is that I've had a couple letters from young moms that have said, "I'm awful at keeping my house clean, how do you keep yours so nice?" or "How do you have patience with so many children? I sometimes lose my cool with just three!" or "How do you find time to do all you do?"
See, I'm 43-I've been a mom for 18 years and I've raised five children so far. I know what kind of work it takes to make a home, to strive to have children who get along with others, and who are "nice" kids-who have some semblance of manners, who respect adults and are good, respectful students-it is constant, never-ending work. Work where I need to be present-physically, emotionally, mentally. It takes up almost all my time! It does honestly.

To give you a glimpse of how I spend (or don't spend) my time:
-I don't do much volunteering at my church or school. My husband has coached basketball for our church/school for 8 years and will continue to do this for a long, long time-I count that as our family time-contribution because it does take up hours and hours a week in season. I sign up to bring in a treat or a craft for a holiday party for each of my kid's classrooms yearly. I have found that my family needs my time and energy and presence more than any other organization right now.

-I know that with a big family we live best with simplicity and organization and I feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile when I manage to keep my home relatively clean. Hence my cleaning schedules and chores, that I've adapted over the years out of pure necessity. Do we all blow these off now and again here? Sure do!

So that is ALL I do. Care for my family, try to keep my house clean and straightened and try to prevent it from falling apart, fix lots of food, scrapbook less and less, and blog. Oh, and read. I love to read but I go in spurts depending on the season. There is LITTLE time in my days, weeks, months and years for anything else. There are only so many hours in a day and we are all doled out the same! And honestly, I can't IMAGINE fitting in anything else and still be present for my family.

I know my family would be stressed if I added much more than this. I know this not because I was BORN knowing it, but because I've tried doing more, being more, keeping up with what it seemed everything else was doing and I hated that stress!

There are times in my life when I said yes to too much. When I said, "Well SHE seems to do it all, I'm going to try it too!" But I saw things deteriorating little by little-maybe it was the feeling in my brain of being too scattered or being resentful of the neediness of loved ones because I felt torn in too many directions by my OWN hand, maybe it was my children's behavior from being too rushed or brushed aside or not having the consistency of a present mother that I think is essential to raising good kids, maybe it was that annoyance of never finding what I needed or having what I needed in house that was running on empty without organization...maybe it was all of those things. I also think my marriage would be stressed by doing much more than this. I feel like with Jeff working, and us raising five children together, we hardly get to talk more than a few minutes without interruption as it is!
I've had 18 years to learn how to manage my household and I did so by trial and error-that means trying new systems, making mistakes, falling behind, thinking I've had all the answers only to add another baby into the mix-which required me to rethink all my answers. Even now, I have to constantly readjust what works with us-which usually means something here is NOT working till I figure out what needs to be readjusted. (And sometimes that is just my attitude!) I am NOT patient all the time. No way. I don't have ALL the answers to raising children, I know there is no perfect recipe we must all follow but I do absolutely know this:

There is no debate in my mind on quality vs. quantity time when it comes to parental attention. It takes BOTH. It takes both constantly. It takes both in the infant years, it takes both in the toddler years, it takes both throughout childhood and definitely into the teenage years. It is the one constant. It is what constitutes good parenting. It is what makes good kids.

You young mothers-you must not be tricked into believing what is sometimes presented to you today in some blogs, in shiny magazines, in false witness from others. There are no tricks for raising children that let you get away with anything less. Choose wisely and choose carefully what you spend your time on and notice signs of distress in the family-and take them seriously. Developing an accurate "balance barometer" is essential to good mothering. Your children NEED you. They need your presence, they need you unstressed and not exhausted from trying to do too much outside the family, they need your attention and your love to grow to their full potential. Today I think we are told being a mother is something to "fit in" among many personal and professional pursuits-I can assure you, there is nothing fun, rewarding, or pleasant that will come out of "fitting in" children as a side of life. I think those that choose that way of life, will pay for it (and sadly so will their children) down the road in many different ways, if they aren't already. Approach bravely (by going against the grain!) the need to make changes-say no often, don't be fooled by those that seem to do it all-they aren't, I promise you. If it sounds or looks too good to be true, it is.

I am learning to not buy into the world's way of thinking.   To stand up.   To follow my own convictions.   There's such freedom in that.   And to read stories of other people walking in their own paths gives me so much encouragement.


"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Romans 12:2

Hope you are LOVING this weather!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A south alabama saturday


Around these parts, we start our day outdoors and finish it that way too. 


I remember as a child we spent countless hours outside.  We didn't watch T.V. because who wanted to watch the channel 12 news or Masterpiece Theater and This Old House on PBS. 

We certainly didn't own Nintendo or all the other high-tech video games.  If we played a 'game' it was Pac-Man on Atari.

But what we did do was climb trees.   We climbed trees like we should live in a zoo

We walked miles exploring woods and horse pastures.   And often times we did it while riding one of those horses.


And oh the mud.   Mudholes.   Mudroads.   Mudpies.   Mud.   The best entertainment God ever made. 






And these days, as my children play, I'm thankful for the same sweet times. 

Around here, just about everyday is Saturday.   Only with a few unavoidable interruptions.

Regardless of what day it is, we spend it outside.   The only difference in our Saturdays and Mondays, is we have daddy home to spend it with us.   Which to my people, that's pretty huge.

We enjoy those precious days.   

And to me, that's about as good as it gets.



And to end up a warm sunny day with full tummies.....well, there's just no better way than snuggled up together on the back porch watching the sun slowly make it's way behind the trees.   Ahhhh, the peace.   The joy.   




I'm grateful to live in a place where.....1.}Tea is sweet and accents are sweeter.  2.}Summer starts in April. {or March} 3.}Macaroni & Cheese is a vegetable. 4.}Front porches are wide and words are long. 5.}Pecan pie is a staple. 6.}Y'all is the only proper noun. 7.}Chicken is fried and biscuits come with gravy. 8.}Everything is Darlin'  9.}Someone's heart is always being blessed.

What are you grateful for about your home sweet home, and how do you spend sweet times in your neck of the woods?

Friday, March 16, 2012

A few small projects and it's the little things that matter

I've been working on a few small projects over the last couple of weeks.   Some say my projects never end.   I'd say they're pretty much right.



* The hall bathroom is painted.  {Thanks to help from the little sister.  And a cute little person.}   I am not completely finished, but the bathroom budget is gone, and I've moved on to another project.  Which is usually what happens with me.  I have tons of ideas spinning around in my head, and  before I can finish one, I've moved on to 10 others!  It's completely out of character for me.  Which makes no sense.  Anyway, we painted the walls Antique White by Sherwin Williams.  I love the new color.  I've also used this color in the hallway and the living room.  I've looked and looked at paint colors.   I knew I wanted to brighten things up and I was sick to death of khaki.  For some reason I was 'scared' of white.  I guess mostly because of obvious reasons.  Little people and white usually don't mix well, but I will say since I finally gave into my urge I have no regrets.  I love the bright and airy look of the white.  And for people like me that need change inside the four walls of this home more often than most, white walls gives the opportunity for change in the little things.  Such as accessories and furniture.   I got a new shower curtain from Target.   A few new hand towels and painted a lamp that I already had, and a really soft bath rug from Wal-Mart.  Then I swapped the mirror from John Luke's room with a mirror I had found from the Junk store for $20.  I had originally bought the $20 mirror to go in the bathroom but when we got home with it, my brilliant husband came up with the idea to actually use the larger mirror in John Luke's room and take the smaller one that went with his bedroom furniture and use it in the bathroom.  It worked out really well.  Thank you dear husband:)  I still have to replace the light fixture above the mirror, get a new toilet,  and a new vanity and faucet.  I'm liking the progres so far.

I am so bad at remembering to take before shots so I have none to show of these projects.  I hate that because I think they make the 'after' so much more real.  Anyway....

*My next really quick project was painting a bookshelf I've had from as far back as college years.  It was a really ugly orangey red finish and I've been wanting to paint it for a long time.  Just no time and energy.  But the sunshine gave me the inspiration I needed.  So I drug it out of our closet on a sunny day and while the kids played outside I put a coat of you guessed it---white paint on it.  Dover White by Sherwin Williams.  It's just a little whiter than the Antique White and I like to use it on furniture and trim work in the house.


I added an old shoe shine box that I got from an antique store here in town, a wedding picture, a fresh new fern {I love the fresh greenery in a house}, and a new lamp that my husband purchased at 10:30 p.m. one night from Wal-Mart because he was playing ball in the living room with the children and broke the one I had there.  Yes, sometimes I really do feel like I have 3 children;)


* I have gotten the itch for Spring and all things bright and airy.  So the next warm sunny day I spray painted a quick coat of black on the wrought iron table that my precious friend Treva had given me last year and then painted the top a creamy white to match the outdoor adirondack chairs and the trim on the house.  Now we have three sitting areas on our patio and plenty of room to hang out in the awesome weather! So come on over and sit with us:-)


*And finally....the master bedroom.  It is time.  I have put this room off since we moved in this house almost 3 years ago, and I'm ready to make a change.  {Imagine that!}  So, after looking and looking at approx. 769 photos of master bedrooms, and contemplating how I could do it all within a very tight budget {you know one that would make Dave happy}, I have finally decided on a direction.  I am keeping the wall color the same. {Can't believe it myself}.  But it's fairly light and it's easy to work with.  {And it saves $$$, time, and my marriage}.  So wall color stays the same.  I bought new drapes from good ole' Wal-Mart for $18 a set!  Like two for $18!  I don't know if you have shopped for drapes or even fabric to make drapes but I'll tell you that is dirt cheap!  They are simple white cotton and my future plan is to paint stripes on them.  Yep!  Paint the stripes!  I have researched it and found some awesome painted curtain projects such as this one and I think it will be just right.  The windows in our bedroom are single windows and I didn't want to completely cover each one with drapes because I l-o-v-e natural light in the house, so I only used one on each window.  I really thought I would never like it, but it is growing on me.  And in my 'picture looking' I saw a master bedroom that Sarah from Sarah's House had decorated and she had done the same thing.  Since I love her style, I decided that was my confirmation.  If Sarah can do it, so can I!  I then took the red euro shams off the bed and put them in John Luke's bed because they go really well with his decor and I'm just tired of them.  Don't get me wrong, I love to decorate with red and green, but I'm just ready for something different.  I left the creamy shams and I'm leaving my chocolate quilt.  I will eventually add some color with throw pillows and such.  I loved the bedside tableclothes my mother-in-law made for us before we got married, but I'm looking to brighten the room.  I had been racking my brain about how I could do something cheap for tableclothes but not have the cheap look.  So one night around midnight I'm still laying in bed wide awake because my mind will not turn off and I remember I had some tableclothes from a birthday party that were hanging in the playroom closet.  I jumped up and ran in there to see what color they were and sure enough they were a creamy white!  Just what I had in mind!  I threw them over the the ones I had on the tables and they worked out wonderfully.  They are not exactly what I would have picked out if I had my perfect choice, but for now they work and they were FREE!  I added a few fresh ferns in some white pots and everything is coming together.  I've still got LOTS to do, but I'm getting there.  Slowly and as the budget allows.  It's a huge room, so it's going to be a big project.  I think that's the main reason I've put it off for so long.  





*And now for the little things that matter most:::
I think that in this season of my life my primary love language is acts of service.  Definitely my secondary is still quality time.  Hence the need for lots of dates:-)  But the little things that help me out on a daily basis are huge to me right now.  Not only the actual doing, but also the little gestures such as love notes and text messages.  They carry so much weight.  They make me feel loved and cared for.  Special.  They make me know that he is thinking about me.  


{"I love you.  Hope you have a good day."}

I woke up one day this week to a folded load of laundry, one that had been put in the dryer, and one that had been put in the wash.  And this sweet little note taped to my bathroom mirror.  That's just nice y'all! 




And not only did I have one, but two little sleepy-heads did too.  


That's the kind of stuff that makes him so hunky.  Besides the fact that he just is :-)

What kinds of projects are you working on?   And what 'little things' make you feel loved?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh yeah....

Can you feel it?   Spring is on it's way!   We are celebrating in the best of ways....waffles in the morning, pizza at lunch, and whatever can be thrown together in 10 minutes for dinner.  All enjoyed out of doors!   It can't get much better than that.   Or so we think :-)

We start early in the morning.   And usually we go until dark.   Or until something on the schedule rudely interrupts us;)




Sometimes we never even stop to change from our night clothes to our day clothes.   {Mama included.}  I know.  That sounds hideous.   John is of the same opinion.   {About mama}.  




I am t-totally pumped about this new season.   Can't wait to break out the lawnmower, plant some flowers, see what's up the husband's 'project sleeve', and spend some long days soakin' up the rays!

I wake up sneezing and go to bed scratching my eyes, but it's all worth it!   We keep Benedryl in business!

Do you get as excited as me and my amigos when you see the sun shining, pollen falling, and green stuff poppin' up everywhere?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hairy... how do you deal?

Rainy days are usually not my favorite.  I like sunshine.   I need sunshine.   Vitamin D does a body good.   Lately, vitamin D via sunshine has been scarce.  But has been purrrrfect.   Thankful today for a sunshiney day with a headache on top.   Oh well, can't have it all.


Since this post was not intended to be about sunshine, I'll move right along.


This weekend the boys had a "no girls allowed" day to Monster Jam.  So me and Miss Priss had a day to ourselves.  Since the day was rainy and cold once again, we stayed in and put on lipstick.  Very bright reddish pink lipstick.  The entire tube of very bright reddish pink lipstick.



Apparently, this is her color.  Because....last weekend, Sunday morning of all days, she rid me of an entire bottle of bright reddish pink fingernail polish.   Sunday morning.   Now, if you go to church, have a family of little people, a husband, and must be at church by 10 o'clock because you have a Sunday School class full of little critters waiting on their teachers, then you know exactly what I mean by "Sunday! Really!? Of all days, you chose Sunday!!!! No, Lord, this can't be happening!"   And let me also add here that she was completely dressed and ready for church when the incident took place.  


No I do not have a picture to prove this story.   I did good to refain myself from doing things that you read or hear about on the 9 o'clock news.   I'm documenting it here.   Besides it is engrained into my memory.  No chance of forgetting.


Just imagine a house covered in bright reddish pink nail polish.  Once you have that picture, add a little blonde-haired 2 year old girl with her pretty Sunday outfit on, with bright reddish pink nail polish all over her.

It all unfolded in less than 90 seconds.

John Luke calmly walks into the kitchen and says, "Daddy, Allie Beth is going to be in BIG trouble."   You imagine the rest of the story.


John went to Freds and bought 19 bottles of fingernail polish remover.   That's no lie either.  I have the receipt to prove it.  I apologize if you were out Sunday morning at Freds and fingernail polish remover was on your list.   It was at my house.   Every last stinkin' bit of it.   Good thing I like to sniff  unusual  things that say "do not inhale".   I was inhaling.   With each big breath, I was pleading to God to help me not be on the 9 o'clock news.   Then I passed the job along to the husband, and he inhaled.   And scrubbed.   And inhaled.   And scrubbed.   All the while saying, "Beth, calm down.  It's done.  It's really not the end of the world."  So glad he could give me such comforting words.

The thing of it is, he was right.   It was done.  It was over.  And it's just a house.  Furniture.   Carpet.  Tile.  Wood.  A toilet.  A tub.  Clothes.  All replaceable.  Worse things happen.   I am very well aware of that.  It was only a bit after the fact that I really stopped to think about it that way.   The sreaming and snatching and all the yuck had already taken place.  I tend to do it that way.  Usually I realize after the fact.  I really don't like that about myself.


Believe it or not, most of the pretty mess came up.  Just a few spots left on the white rug in the living room, and we're still waiting out the verdict on the clothes.

Do you struggle on Sundays?   I know life is hectic and children are unpredictable everday.  But there's one thing for sure.  It's gonna be extra hairy on Sunday.  No matter how many preparations are made in advance, it's gonna be hairy.   I accept it.   Now, just tell me how to deal with it.....

Happy Monday friends~