Thursday, July 31, 2008

How `Bout A Big Hand Now? Wait-wait a minute!

So life is crazy these days! Last night we had rehearsal for a musical that my three older children are participating in. If I had known that Graycen was going to get a last-minute acceptance into this school, I wouldn't have let them participate this year. With school an issue now, it makes for a late night and too early of a morning on Thursday. But, like I have noted in my last post, we are going "oars out" and just looking forward to the performance next weekend.

This Thursday morning, this busy mama is T-I-R-E-D. After I got Graycen safely delivered, I came home and Nathan had to run out to get to class. I SOOOOOOOO wished that he could stay home, but he has a class for half the day and then has work :o( . The kids were tired and cranky and I was tired and cranky. That doesn't make for a very good start to the day.

I decided to FLIP IT and start over. This is how we did it. Let me apologize in advance for the quality, but I used my handy-dandy phone.*****Please turn off the site music at the bottom right, so that you can hear the music in the video.***

Sweet sugar pop, sugar pop rocks-y pop, You don't stop `til the sweet beat drops.!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This is where I have been so much lately. No. I haven't been at school with Graycen. However, the fact that SHE has been there has kept me fairly busy. It is just one of those seasons in life where I don't have much time for much of anything other than being "Honey" to Nathan and "Mama" to the kids. The schedule is completely out of whack with the additions of morning and afternoon carpool, so the gym has been a little off as well. No worries though. We will all settle into our new schedule soon enough.

Many times in our line of work, these seasons come when we don't have any time for anything it seems. Over the past year especially, I have learned that if I am to do this job rightly (as in, according to the way God has designed me to do it) I shouldn't resist those seasons. I should fully submit to them.

I know that there are women reading this who are picturing me laying down at my doorstep to become a mat for walking on, but that isn't what I am saying at all. Instead of picturing a doormat, picture a boat on the river. There are times when it is appropriate, helpful even, to paddle with all your might with the current. Other times, it is best to go "oars out" and let the river's force move you along. In those cases, refusing to cease paddling can be dangerous. It could even cause your boat to capsize!

So THAT is a better picture of what I am doing these days; going "oars out". The flows of change, regarding Graycen's new school and the beginnings of our homeschool year at home, are creating change in our days and I am in a time when I am re-seeking where best to place things like my quiet time with the Lord, the gym, blogging, etc. Some of these things (with the exception of my time spent with my Lord) may be simply removed from my life for a time if need be. We'll see. It is a season of sacrifice and MUCH grace for me. I have to be willing to sacrifice or I will not have the grace to provide to my family or myself.

So, for now, I am off to start our homeschooling day here at home! It will seem like a blink before it is time to go and get Graycen, so we have to get moving!

I wanted to point out one last thing before I go. For any of you have ever been rafting or canoeing, you can recall that those "oars out" times, when the water is making white caps and bouncing the boat around, are the times that you usually hear "WOW! That was fun! Let's do THAT again!" from the passengers of the boat. They are the times that you look back on with excitement at the end of your day. I am guessing it will be same with life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vapor Cont'd

Wedding China Meets The Murrays

*if you haven't already, go here to find out why I am documenting this dinner*

Our Dinner Table. I don't have a nice table cloth or placemats, but I wanted to use the china anyway. Don't you just love my decorative napkins?
We even set a salad plate for Annagail. Of course, we didn't actually HAND the plate to her, but she did have a plate. Nathan gave me the salt and pepper shakers for our first anniversary. The kids each took a turn fake-shaking salt onto their plate.

The Children's Plate

The Adult's Plate

I am thinking that this might be an end-of-the-week tradition. As a matter of fact, I told Nathan that he could feel free to get me whatever pieces (and there are MANY) of the pattern that I don't have. Nathan and I enjoyed this so much and the kids did too.

Now the kids are in bed and Nathan and I are about to start washing up the dishes. I am left wondering why I didn't do this sooner.


I think that the Lord has been teaching me a lot lately about the brevity of this life.

I mentioned recently all of the loss of earthly life that I have known, directly or indirectly, as of late. I posted about my legacy and how I am determined to leave a legacy of love. I am also thinking more these days about how I am treasuring my family and my life here on earth. These are all ponderings that God is using to mold me now; to shape me into the child HE made me to be to Him. It isn't even so much about being the Wife or the Mother He wants me to be. It is just about simply being His child. It isn't always fun, but I can feel the growth in my heart.

This may seem weird, I have been thinking about my wedding china. I know it is weird, but I have been. You see, when Nathan and I got married, we received twelve place settings of beautiful china. We moved to a new state shortly after we married and put our china into Nathan's parents' attic. When we finally built our home in GA, we wanted to wait until we had a beautiful cabinet to display it in. Shortly after we moved into our home though (like 20 days later!), we had Graycen, our first baby. Four more babies, nearly ten years of marriage (in September!), a call into seminary and full-time ministry later, we still don't have the cabinet. It is just the way it is. Life and the blessings God has gifted us with have come far before a china cabinet and we wouldn't change it for anything. All the while, our lovely, delicately embossed china that we spent hours picking out in the months before our wedding, was sitting in boxes collecting dust in my in-laws' attic. It seemed like such a waste.

Sometime in the last two months, I began wanting to have my china here so badly! I explained to Nathan that if something unthinkable happened and I lost him, not only would I mourn for him (obviously), but that I would mourn the fact that we had never once eaten off of that china together. I went on to tell him that I would carry it all out into the street and smash it into a million pieces, because if I hadn't used our wedding china with the man that I made the vows with that those beautiful pieces were meant to celebrate, then I didn't want to use them EVER. Of course, it was a weighty image; me standing in the street, bawling my eyes out, throwing delicate china onto the cement. Nathan, my witty-to-an-almost-fault husband, understood exactly what I was saying, but couldn't help, but to make one request. He said, "Oh Honey! That would be awful! I have one request though. Would you, even just once, yell out HOOPAH! when you throw a plate?!?!?! I have always wanted to do that!"

All this to say that on my last trip to GA, I brought back my wedding china. It isn't in a beautiful china cabinet and set up on display so that everyone can "ooh" and "aah" at it, but it is here. I made room for it at the top of one of my kitchen cabinets. I took each piece out of the original gift boxes they came in and carefully placed them on the shelf. I decided that, in September, I would make a wonderful meal and set a gorgeous table in honor of our tenth wedding anniversary. I imagined the whole thing in my mind and even teared up thinking about what a wonderful occasion it would be to use our china for the first time, even if it wasn't going to happen in the spacious dining room with the shiny new tablecloth and beside the magnificent china cabinet I had envisioned in those months before our wedding.

This morning I read about Christopher Laurie . He is the son of Greg Laurie, a well-known evangelist. He was killed in a car accident yesterday and leaves on the earth a beautiful little daughter, a young wife, and the sweet baby girl that they were expecting to be born in November. Again, my heart hit the floor. By all earthly accounts, this wasn't supposed to happen this way. This family had every reason to be celebrating the coming life in the next few months! They were probably picking names and buying all of the stuff that we all go out and buy when we are waiting for a baby to arrive. Yet here they are now a blink of an eye later, jolted from their joy and facing this loss that most of us cannot even let our minds wonder to. This isn't a chapter that is written in the "What to Expect..." books. Although we can find comfort in God's Word about it, it cannot be planned or prepared for. There was no notice or flags indicating the arrival of this loss for this family.

I cannot (and I truly mean those words) imagine the weight of the pain that is in the chest of Brittany Laurie right now as she mourns the loss of her beloved while also carrying the child that was supposed to have a very different life than what she will now have. I have prayed for Brittany Laurie, her daughter Stella, the daughter that she is carrying, and the entire Laurie family this morning and will continue to do so.

All of a sudden, even though it is already July, September seemed so far away. My life is a vapor. It is fleeting, just like all of these people that have left the earth before they thought they would. So, tonight I am setting a grand table. We will all still be a little crammed into the area that our table fits into in our little family-housing apartment that we are blessed with by the seminary and I am sure one of the kids will, at some point, either throw something down, or cry, or smear something on the wall, or all of the above. We are having what was planned for dinner tonight, Mexican Chicken with black beans and Spanish rice, but we will be eating it a little differently than originally planned.Can you take a guess what our family will be eating on tonight?

I know that, in the end, it won't be whether or not we ever eat off of our wedding china that my family will treasure. However, I want them to live their lives in the present tense. I want them to give NOW, to serve NOW, to love NOW. I want them to feel burden NOW for the lost people in their lives and to not hold back in fear for what they may not get a chance to do tomorrow. In the end, this china will burn up like wood, but I hope to see the jewels of love-shown, compassion-given, and lives-lived like Christ left shining in the ashes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What is your legacy?

I've been meditating on the song Legacy by Nicole Nordeman lately. It should be playing from my songlist below. I heard this song a long while ago and it made an impression. The words speak SUCH truth to me whenever I hear them. How will my children remember me? What will they know to be true about their Mama's heart? Will they be able to say that, above all other things, I showed love?

I want them too. I think that they will, but still, it is a DAILY thought of mine. It is tough to do when so much around me points to the world's view of success and achievement.

Sometimes it is very easy to set goals that aren't where they should be. I have seen people beat themselves up over not achieving success in certain areas of their lives, only to overlook some pretty wonderful things they have shined in. On the contrary, too many people set out to succeed at other goals that aren't worth the time spent pondering them. Those people usually like to have admirers other than the Lord. Often times, those too are the people that miss out on some of the most precious gems that the Lord has hidden in their journey, because their eyes are looking in the incorrect direction.

Don't be that person. Don't set lofty goals that look good to the world, but will burn up like wood before the Lord. Leave a legacy on this earth that MATTERS.

Legacy by Nicole Nordeman *you can click on the song title in the playlist to listen as you read

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides the temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy.
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering,
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy .

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy


Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Monday is the BIG day!

Graycen starts school for the first time (outside of our home) on Monday. She is going into the second grade.

The backpack is loaded. The lunchbox is ready for filling. The uniforms are bought, pressed, and hanging in her closet. The shoes are new and shiny and lined up under her uniforms in her closet. She is ready. She is excited. I am SO happy about what she is feeling right now.

The past few days have been so eventful, as we have been shopping and getting her ready. I have watched, almost sometimes seemingly from a distance, as she has started this unexpected bloom already. When we went shopping for the items on her teacher's supply lists, Graycen used phrases like, "That is way too baby-ish Mom." and "I am really going more for a solid pink theme this year." WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? This afternoon before heading to the pool I had her try on all of her uniforms and just make sure everything fit the way we wanted it too. She was glowing in her little khaki jumper. With her new haircut, she just looked so...together and ready. She cannot stop smiling. I am praying, praying, PRAYING that this experience is everything that we are all hoping it is.

Last night, I allowed Graycen to stay up a little later than usual so that she could help me label all of her supplies. When we were done, we kissed her and sent her to her bed. An hour so so later, I went to my bed and as I passed her room, I saw her pop down onto her pillow. I walked in a put my head right next to her's as she pretended to sleep. I whispered, "Graycen, I know that you are awake sweetie." into her ear. She still laid quietly with her eyes closed, trying to pretend that she was asleep. I said, "Are you as excited as I am and can't sleep?" She popped up like a rocket and said, "YES MOM! I cannot sleep because I keep thinking about school!!". As I hugged her and tucked her back in, I thought about what a blessing it is that she is so eager and ready for this. This whole situation is absolutely God's divine plan. If any other of the three that we applied to this school had been accepted, this would be such a different beginning to this journey for us. Graycen was born to be the leader in this tribe of kids.

I love, love, LOVE the Lord all the time. However, tonight I am feeling especially comforted, protected, lifted up, and Fathered tonight. None of the fears that I have had are present now. A lot of it has been settled by the joy he has placed in the heart of my little girl. It is very hard to look at her, as her eyes are so bright with happiness and excitement and as she literally bounces from one foot to the other, and have a bit of fear. He knew the angst in my heart and He has settled it. I LOVE HIM and I feel like a true child of his tonight; safe and provided for.
This is a GREAT way to start a day of worship tomorrow!

PRAISING GOD tonight friends.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Emotional Grab-bag!

This is what I am these days. DO you remember those? I was always thekid who liked to buy the mystery grab bags at fairs and such. I liked the surprise of not knowing what I would find inside.

With emotions, I could do without the grab bag, but it is par for the course right now. Graycen starts school on MONDAY!! Oh, one day I am SUPER excited about all she is about to experience and some days I am not. I have A LOT to do before MOnday, but most of it can't be started until Friday. Her open house is tomorrow night, so we will get accurate supply lists and all then.

Tomorrow afternoon, she is getting a haircut. Usually, I cut her hair, but she wants her hair short again, so I am going to put her in the hands of my hairdresser for that. Friday will be a full day of shopping for supplies! Saturday, we will attend the school's uniform sale to try and find her a good supply of uniforms. And then on Sunday I will continue to pray that I won't be a COMPLETE emotional wreck on Monday when we drop her off.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Whirlwind Has Momentarily Haulted.

I say momentarily, because it is bound to stir back up at any moment.

After spending 12 days on the road with my kiddos, I had my very dear friend come by for a visit. She, her husband, and their own five kiddos arrived on Sunday and we have been going, and going, and going ever since.

A little background: This dear friend is a friend that helped form my attitude as a mother. Really. I was pregnant with my 2nd baby and toting around my 1st who was only 5 months old. I was KILLING MYSELF trying to be perfect all the time. She asked me to come home with her from a play-date one day and told me that she had something to show me. Already a mother of four herself at the time, she took me into her kitchen and showed me two baskets full of clean, unfolded laundry on her table. "There!" she said, "That is what I wanted to show you."

Over lunches of p,b,& j, she went on to explain that she had to search through those laundry baskets for clean underwear for her two oldest children that morning and that being a Mom didn't always mean that everything got done in a day. She saw in me something that she felt she had been striving for at one point that was a false goal; an unrealistic and dangerous course to be on at the beginning of my journey through motherhood. SO, even though she barely knew me, she mentored me into a more realistic and healthy outlook on my life as a Mom. It has made a WORLD of difference. I never set out to have five children like she did. However, I know that the Lord KNEW that wold be our family and he put us in each other's path for that reason.

She moved to NY just before we moved to NC, but we have managed to get together AT LEAST 2xs a year ever since. She is a gift to me and I was THRILLED to have her entire family here in NC for a couple of days.

We had a big dinner out at the Twisted Fork on Sunday night. Yum, Yum,and YUM!! I love that place AND you get one free kids meal with every adult entree purchase. Can't beat that when your party is 4 adults and TEN kids. Hahahahahaha! After dinner, I dropped off Nathan and the kids and picked up me friend for a Mama's night out. We spent 2 hours in a movie and then 3 in the car chatting. I enjoyed the chatting much better than the movie :o) I got home WAAAAAAAYYYY too late for the day we had planned on Monday!!

Yesterday, we started out the morning with a few hours of Pump It Up. This was, in my opinion, the PERFECT place to let ten kids (ages 16 months-13 yrs old) run themselves ragged for 2 hours. Even my littlest, Annagail, would climb up the tallest slides an back herself down the slide. It was a lot of fun for ALL of us.

Then we headed to Cici's pizza for lunch. The food isn't THAT great, but the company was wonderful, so it made up for it. Again, we were thinking in terms of practicality with a crew our size.

Personally, I was wiped out after that, but Graycen had placement testing for her new school. My sweet friend babysat my youngest four while I took Graycen to testing.

THEN we loaded up all ten kiddos again for an afternoon at the pool. THAT was fun. (sidenote~ I am SO enjoying being in the water with my children. God is so good and He is blessing me with a complete lack of concern for what anyone thinks about me. If you had been in my head even as early as a few months ago, you wouldn't believe that I am now swimming in public.)

We were there MUCH longer than we planned, but it worked out because Nathan was home from work by the time we finished and we all (14 of us) headed downtown to a Zaxby's for dinner. Her kids had missed it since moving up north so we trekked down to satisfy their craving.

On the way home, my children all passed out from the busy day they had and I helped Nathan get them into bed. Then I headed back out to my friend's hotel for a "girls' movie night" with her and her 13 yr old daughter. They had every cookie, chocolate, salty thing I could ever want. I indulged and it was fun. We hung out and watched a movie. Again, I was up WAAAAAAAYYY too late, but it was so worth it.

They are headed North this morning and I already miss her. It is rare to find someone that the type of friend she is to me. She doesn't judge EVER, yet she will (and has been before) quick to rebuke me for a wrong attitude. We have cried together over disappointments and we have laughed until we cried! No matter how long we spend apart, we are right back where we left off when we get back together. We can go weeks without talking and nobody get feelings hurt, because we both know how busy we are and we have GRACE for each other. It is just the way it is.

As stressful as it may sound to have to entertain 10 kids for two days, there is so much comfort found in being around someone who knows EXACTLY the steps you are walking now. Her youngest is the same age as my 2nd born, so she knows almost everything about where I am in life. That is comfort.

Nathan and I don't know the exact ministry that the Lord has prepared for us upon his graduation, but I think both of us would love it if it landed us somewhere close to these great friends of ours.

How cold does New York get in the winter? LOL!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Couldn't sleep last night.

It might have a little to do with the fact that I had caffeine last night for the first time in a long while, but mostly I was just dealing with a heavy heart.

While I was in GA, we learned that a someone who, at one time, had been very close to Nathan's family died. He was 43 and had lost a relatively short battle with pancreatic cancer. While trying to find his obituary, I came upon an obituary where he was listed as a survivor. I was very, deeply saddened to learn that his wife had just lost her own mother to cancer almost and exact month earlier. This young woman, left to care for her tow children (ages 6 and 3) had to suffer the loss of her mother and her husband in one month's time. I cannot imagine what she is going through and the weight she is carrying in terms of pain.

When I got home form GA, I looked onto my cousin's blog (he, himself battling cancer currently) and found that a dear friend of his who we have prayed for as he battled cancer, was in his final moments here on this temporary home. His friend slipped out of his earthly body this weekend. He also leaves a young wife and three young children.

Then I scrolled down on my bloglines and found this on Angie Smith's blog. Angie is a Mama that blogs about dealing with life after losing her newborn to developmental complications. In this particular post, she speaks of visiting the grave and posted some images from the actual funeral. There are two images that are engraved into my brain and were for MOST of last night. One is of Todd and Angie sitting together, The image was shot from the back of them and Todd has his hand around Angie, but also has his hand lifted, seemingly i praise to the Lord. A few photos down, there is a picture of this same father, kneeling to kiss the coffin of his child; the size of the tiny coffin is just breath-taking. These two photos, and their existence at the same overwhelmingly-sad event is humbling to me. They speak volumes to me about how we, as Jesus followers, should deal with these heavy and heart-wrenching times.

I am so sad for all of these people. Not for the all ones who have passed, in at least two of these situations there is assurance of eternity. For them, my sadness is for those left here to mourn in the flesh. The pain they feel seems so unnecessary to my human heart. I wish that God could wave His hand an remove the hurt that they are suffering.

In the other case, my inquiry into his faith was met with an answer that described the denomination he was born into and even the religion that his wife was born into, but not and answer that told me whether or not he had surrendered his life to Christ. By ALL accounts, he was a fantastic human being and he was a really "great" person to know. However, there is no evidence that he had a relationship with the Lord. In this case, my heart is heavy for not just his family that is left here to mourn and for the pain that they are suffering, but I am fearful of his reality now too. I believe in Hell. I believe that it is a real, physical place. I am scared that he now knows it to be true also and not just a fable passed down to scare people into false-faith. I so hope that this isn't the case.

I know that is a hard, hard thing to read. It is hard to type. Still, I believe it to be the truth. If your earthly body fails you before you have completely realized your own sin, repented, and surrendered your life at the foot of the cross, you WILL know Hell. (*just as a side-note: don't bother initiating a debate with me regarding the existence of Hell. It is my conclusion based on my own studies, convictions, and beliefs. I am not looking to even know what other viewpoints are on this. I have studied the only original source for this (the Bible) and have come to my conclusions accordingly.)I am sure (and saddened) to think of all the people that were such "good" people in their earthy life, yet continually denied the one truth that matters in this (and any) life. I read a blog shortly after George Carlin's passing that said, "George Carlin is in Hell or Jesus is a liar." It was harsh and even made me wince a little upon reading it, but immediately after the recoil I recognized the solid truth in the statement. Carlin was praised as a pioneer in his "craft". He was , posthumously, given praise after praise from his peers. However, he denied the reality of Christ and His sinless life, torturous death, and glorious resurrection on behalf of OUR sin. All the laughs in the world won't buy George Carlin's ticket out of eternal separation from God. Every knee shall bow and EVERY tongue WILL confess...

There is a sense of urgency that is pressing on my heart now. In my own wedding party, there are at least 5 individuals who don't know the love of my Lord. Over the years, we have lost touch with most of these people. Last night when I laid in bed, trying to sleep, their faces (and the faces of their children) were scrolling in front of my eyes like a long, painful slide show. What will I feel when I get THAT call from one of their family members? Sure, there will be sadness beyond measure. I love each of these people. But will I feel like I satisfactorily accomplished the commission set before me by Christ? Will I be resolved in the knowledge that I brought the gospel to them, lived it for them to see, spoke it for the to hear? Immediately and overwhelmingly, the answer was no. That is a heavy realization. I don't even know HOW to reconnect with these people, but I am going to start by praying for them. I am going pray, fervently, that the Lord will place someone in their paths that will be able to sufficiently represent Christ and His sacrifices for them. I am praying that they will be broken and humbled by the cost already paid for their sin and that they will be seeking the hope that can only come from God.

I am also going to pray that, if it be His will, God will give me the opportunity to be THAT person to them again. I want them to know what I know and to have the blessed assurance that I have. I cannot let myself become complacent in this. That would be the WORST thing that I could do.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Today was a BIG day for me.

I swam.

For the first time in over SEVEN YEARS, I sported a swimming suit and jumped in the pool! If you do the math with the above number of years, you'll see that (SADLY) this is the first time that I have EVER gone swimming with my children. I know that sounds so sad. It doesn't just SOUND sad. It IS sad. The kids have gone swimming before and I have sat on the side of the pool holding whatever baby was my excuse at the time. It felt SO GOOD to just get in with them and play.

What has changed?

Well, although I have lost some weight, it isn't that. I haven't lost enough to even be noticeable to anyone who sees me regularly. My ATTITUDE is what is different. In the past, I have bowed out of swimming because the idea of "everyone" looking at me in a bathing suit brought me to tears, literally, on many occasions. Now, I just feel differently about it.
Do you want to hear my big secret for getting into the pool when you are feeling less-than suit-able?


Seriously, because of my journey towards better health, I just don't care what anyone thinks. I realized early on in this that I was SO TIRED of living my life worrying about other peoples' opinions of me, of my family, of ANYTHING. I still want to be courteous, respectful, and thoughtful to and of the people in my life. I just am not going to live my life based on what I *think* people are thinking about me. Because I am working out and disciplining myself to take care of myself, I have more confidence I am finding that, overall, I care less and less everyday about the unsolicited opinions of others and caring MUCH more about how God views me. Because I am able to better accept HIS love for me, I am better able to accept Nathan's love for me. Follow? Nathan loves me like my Lord loves me, completely unconditional of my swimsuit size :o) Knowing that and being better able to accept it made today a GREAT day for our whole family.

Guess what happened when I walked out to the pool area today in my swimsuit?


Not a single person stood and pointed. Not a single person laughed out loud. They were all playing and having fun with THEIR own kids. I asked Nathan a few times if I looked ridiculous, but I got out there and spent some great time with my family in the water.

On the way home, I spent a moment lamenting over the many times that I opted out and should have just NOT CARED, but that was then and this is now. I will not let this joy be stolen from me even by my own regret. Instead, I am looking forward to our NEXT time at the pool, and the next, and the next and the next...

Friday, July 11, 2008

I am home.

Suitcases are unpacked into drawers. Empty pizza boxes are on the table. The kids are bathed and in their own beds (with clean sheets-thanks honey!) and I am sitting on the couch next to my hubby (a.k. a."honey").

Life is Good!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I have learned a few things from this trip:

#1- Even though you have one REALLY great trip home as the solo parent of your children for a week, it doesn't mean that you are promised a second one.

#2- My children enjoy consequences for disobedience(apparently).

#3- You cannot possibly see everyone that you want to see on one trip home, even if it is for 2 weeks.

#4- After applying sunblock Xs 5, you must then remember to cover yourself or you will regret it for DAYS.

#5- The screaming and yelling in pain that I get from my 6 yr old when I "do" her hair is an act. I have now witnessed her get her hair braided (in two pigtails, I might add and with a rat-tail comb!!!!) by a complete stranger on the 4th and she didn't move an inch or wince even one time. BUSTED!!

#6- People (as in some friends of mine) have assumed that my children run around like pigpen with no shoes and dirt tracks on their skin, because they were all SHOCKED that they "ALL" had on shoes and "hair combed" for a movie outing. Seiously, They were ready to give me a medal for it. (???)

#7- I HATE living out of a suitcase!!!

#8- My 16 mo old doesn't understand that Daddy is at home looking at us through the web-cam and gets ticked off when she tries (repeatedly) to kiss him and can't.

#9- I don't EVER want to be a single parent.

#10- My husband and I were not made to be apart for this long. I miss him too much :o(

Truly though, I am looking forward to more visits with friends & family, but oh-so-glad that I am driving home in 2 days!!!

I even miss my gym.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th Ya'll!!

I Just got back from visiting with family for the 4th. We went to a local gathering and there were all the sites and sounds that you expect to see there. It was hot and we were all pretty sweaty, but it was so much fun. There were many different Christian artists that performed. There were "bouncers" galore and I smelled funnel cake in the air. I had to make myself remember how they cook those things to keep me from eating one. It was a really great little festival.

It ended with, of course, a fireworks display. The music wasn't that great (your typical laser show soundtrack with a little "domestic violence ending in murder" song as the finale, Independence Day by Martina McBride), but the fireworks were good. Honestly, I usually miss most of the fireworks because I like to watch the kids faces during them. I watched my older two girls that were sitting with my niece tonight and they are always so amazed by them. Graycen actually took her fingers out of her ears some tonight! Cooper & Ella were SO tired that I am not sure he paid too much attention and Annagail slept through her second year of fireworks this year.

I love getting together and "pitching a plot" for these types of things. I like to watch the people. Everyone is smiling and happy. It was a really great time.

Now, as I hear all five of my kiddos snoring in the other room, I am reminded that, despite the fact that they went to bed a good 3 hours after their normal bedtime, they will be waking up and ready to go at the normal time of 6:30am. Therefore, I am outta-here!!!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Church Signs

DOn't ya just love reading church signs? I passed one today (an old favorite on Five Forks Nathan!) that read,

"Don't just be busy. Be FRUITFUL!"

It seemed appropriate to post here :o) It is the truth too. So many times I think I am too busy for so many things. When in all honesty, I am the one busying myself for NOTHING. I have learned a lot about priorities over the last year and it has been very difficult to put down some things that I *LOVE* doing for ME (like my new-found love of knitting, writing, and even just plain old READING!) so that I can serve my family, but it has been SO worth it. I don't want to just busy myself to get through my day, my life, etc. I want to treasure my time here and use it to the complete FULLNESS for God's Glory!

(stepping off of my soap box now)

Our trip is going well. Every time I get here, I feel like I want to go to everyone's house ans see everyone. Obviously, that doesn't work out time-wise. Today I got a chance to visit with some friends that all became Mamas around the same time I did. It was nice to see the kids, all grown up and to chat with the Mamas. Friends are so priceless aren't they?

Tomorrow I am hanging out with my great family (minus my sweet Nathan... sniff, sniff) and I can't wait!!! We are gathering at a 4th of July celebration and it promises to be a great time. The kids will LOVE spending time with my nieces and I can't wait to hang out and just visit for a while.

To update you on the kiddos, they are all five SNORING in the room next to me as I type. They are completely water-logged from a day at the pool. (I gotta get me one of those!!) I got them all lathered up with sunblock and missed myself all together. I am officially a redneck now and I have the tingling-burning sensation to prove it!! Wasp stings have all, but healed and haven't given the kids another moments worry, praise the Lord.

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Aaaaaaaaaaaand we're OFF!!!!

Yesterday was the first leg of my cRaZy MaMa SuMmEr Road Tour. We started off a little late, because the kids wanted to wait until Nathan got out of class to say goodbye to him. That would have been just fine without the 3 MILLION other things that happened to delay us also :o). That is just how it goes sometimes, right? The kids were extremely amped about the trip, so it made for a lively ride to say the least.

Nathan had a breakthrough idea on how we can pay for MaryEveyln's leg brace in 2 weeks (long story) and called me to tell me about it. I was so excited that I flew right past my exit. Turns out, that exit is COMPLETELY different when you come at it from the other way, so it took me a couple of tries to get back on the road I was supposed to be on.

FINALLY, we made it.

We greeted everyone. Let the kids unwind in the house for a few minutes. Went outside to unload the car and, before I could pull the first suitcase out of the truck, Cooper and Ella had been stung by several wasps! They are fine now,but ended up with a total of 3 stings (2 on Ella and 1 on Cooper).

The really sweet part of this story is that my 5 yr old boy, Cooper, saw the wasps and ran. Then he went back for his little sister and got stung also. I wish that NEITHER of them Had gotten stung at all, but knowing that he went back to protect his sister, somehow makes the other not-so-fun parts of my day seem much better.

Stay tuned for updates from the road. It is ALWAYS an adventure!