Saturday, December 26, 2009
However, despite all of that, Christmas was and still is my favorite holiday. My mom, grandma, and aunts would all begin baking and cooking days in advance. Once school was out, Matt, Meg and I would all spend the days playing and decorating our house with homemade decorations. Especially, once I taught them how to make snowflakes. We would set up our Christmas tree and Mom would let us decorate the tree. Of course, after we fell asleep she'd fix it so it was a little less lopsided, since we tended to put too many ornaments in areas and had thick patches in some places and bare patches in others. Regardless of all that, though we still enjoyed Christmas, the movies, the music, and if we were really lucky that year - playing in the snow.
We'd go outside and play in the snow for what seemed like hours when we were young, but looking back I realized we weren't out as long as we thought. We'd come in one at a time to defrost, this usually included crawling under the covers with Mom in her heated water bed and snuggling up next to her to warm our frozen appendages. Looking back now, she took it all in stride and didn't complain. Sometimes, she would ask us "Who is that?" and of course, we answered with "me". It became a game we would play. Kind of like the game she made up where she would ask us how we got so cute? When we were little we didn't know the answer, but as we learned more and more in school our answers became cuter and eventually, Meg told her, "DNA Mom, DNA."
No matter how poor we were though, Mom always baked goodies and cooked what seemed like huge amounts of food. Our house would begin to smell of Christmas. But I think our favorite part of Christmas was when our cousins would come because it meant new playmates. It also meant that we were that much closer to Christmas day itself. So as the time drew closer and closer, Matt, Meg and I would await eagerly for our cousins to arrive with food, their bodies, and more importantly, more presents. As I got older it became less about the presents and more about spending time together. But lately I've been thinking a lot about presents and what I think I loved the most. So here are a few of my favorite things:
1. When I was in middle school, Mom found or had made the neatest pillow. It wasn't very big, but it had the best poem on it about, "I love you so my daughter and I never cease to pray that God will guide and keep you in His love, each and every day. . ." There is more to it, but that's what I remember of it. It was lost 10 years ago or so when I was away in Sicily. I would love to find it or one like it to give to each of my girls.
2. A coat - a few years ago, I needed a coat very badly. And I do mean very badly. My coats had fallen apart and I had gained weight after having Elizabeth and so when Chris thought I wasn't paying any attention, he ran back to a store where I spotted a coat I liked and he bought it. Now I know he meant to keep it a secret, but if you know my husband, you know he cannot keep a secret.
3. This is last, but certainly not least - the year Chris and I had begun dating we had a good Christmas. Sarah's mom had finally allowed her to come and stay for Christmas after Chris talked to her. A few days after Christmas we drove up to Iowa and met Chris' dad and on the way home, I suspected that something was up. I also knew that if I was incorrect, I would be devastated, so I told myself to not get my hopes up. Although, all signs pointed to the fact that Chris planned to ask me to marry him officially - with a ring. As luck would have it, I was correct. Dec. 30th, Chris asked me to marry him and gave me the most beautiful ring. It may not seem like much to other people - or those who place importance on size and carat, etc . . . but it was then and still is today one of my most prized possessions. I love that ring, because he worked long and hard to find and pay for it.
Sadly, as we've grown up the cousins have moved away and so getting together has become a little more difficult - especially since Aunt Chris and Uncle Frank are far away. I would love for us to all have a large Christmas again like we used to every four years when they would come home on furlough. It would be a huge gathering now with three sisters, their children and their children's families, but it would be wonderful. We used to have so much fun visiting with each other and playing games and laughing.
My final favorite memory - at least for this entry, is Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve we would all gather around after a day spent playing, talking and eating; we would begin to sing Christmas songs and Uncle Ed would read the Christmas story and pray. It may not seem like much, but it was our tradition and it seemed magical to me somehow. It was nice to open presents, sure but it wasn't the best part of Christmas. I don't have any of the gifts I got as a child left, they've been misplaced or stolen over the years or broken if they were the best tea mugs ever (Mom, made those too- or at least she painted them for us), I don't even have my Barry Manilow tapes anymore. But those memories - those never leave me and I think my life is all the better for them.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my friends and family.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
However, I have noticed a sad trend as I drove around a few days ago. I had Lizzie, Beka and Kiernan Trotter with me and we drove to the east side of Wichita and I realized that with a few exceptions that there were very few homes that had Nativity scenes up. I saw many Santa's and Frosty's and other beautiful displays put up, but it seemed to richer the area where we drove the less likely we were to see anything that resembled Christianity. I did notice one home with a beautiful display that showed various versions of the Star of David - so Happy Hanukkah to them and kudos for boldly sharing their choice of faith. However, I also noticed that the area where I live and the poorer areas had more nativity scenes up.
This got me to thinking and explaining to Kiernan as we talked about why we saw so few homes with a Nativiy scene up. We talked about how sad it was because it's true, the more money you have the less you rely on God. I talked to her about how Jesus told us that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle (a gate in Jerusalem, not a real eye of a needle - or so it is speculated) than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We talked about how when you have a lot of money, that you don't seem to think you need to rely on God as much. It also got us noticing and looking for the Christ child even more as we drove around.
I would love to tell you that we saw Him in front of many homes, but alas we did not. That doesn't mean He isn't in the homes without lights up, but I thought it said a lot about the state of our country. I think it shows that as a country we have lost our way, we have turned our back on God. I also wonder if after this, if we will see revival happen in our country. I wonder if we will find more people coming to church because they don't know where else to turn.
When you have exhausted all of your resources, do you turn to God? Or do you turn to him from the start? If you put up a lights display what would you want your lights to say about you? Would you boldly put lights up declaring, "He is the Reason for the Season?" Or would you hide him in your home with a Nativity scene? I'm not trying to point fingers, I am just offering some food for thought. How proud of Christ are you? In a world that promotes the art of political correctness, are you willing to be politically incorrect? Would you stand boldly and proudly proclaim Him?
Merry Christmas everyone and God Bless your week.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This got me to thinking - what have you learned from your own mother? I ask this, because it has become aware to me in the passing years that not everyone had a great mom like my cousins and my siblings and I had to observe and learn from each day. Between my mom and her sisters and my dad's sisters as well as family friends I was able to decide what kind of mom I wanted to be, what was important (i.e. taking kid to dr and dentist to name a few things), but there are so many women who didn't have positive, strong examples of good mothering.
I know of one young woman whose children have been in and out of foster care for drug abuse (on her part, the kids), neglect, etc. . . but that is an extreme case. I also know of young women who just didn't learn the little things - like how to talk to your kids even when angry, schedules are important for children, etc . . . Those may seem like no brainers to some of us, but for others, they aren't - they never saw these things modeled and so they may or may not learn them the hard way or even learn them at all.
Then I also see the problem with women tearing each other down and judging each other. I am an older mom and one of my sister in laws is a young mom. Now I am by no means a perfect parent and I don't have all of the answers, but I have structure and discipline - they are important for our household. We also have a child with autism - hence the importance of having structure and discipline. My sister-in-law didn't see this modeled and she is young and learning. She is also a very good mom who loves her children a lot. She is making the effort to learn, but this isn't always the case for many young moms.
I also see women tearing each other down over the "is it better to stay at home vs. the working mom." Not everyone woman is good at staying at home - they need that interaction away from their children so that when they are with their kids, they can give them the best of themselves. I also know of moms who would give or would have given anything to be able to stay at home, but it was not possible. These are the dilemmas that we as women face each day, month, and year and yet instead of being supportive, we are fighting each other. Why? Does it help us or hurt us? I propose it hurts us.
So here is my challenge to you . . . and to myself. The next time we as women catch ourselves trying to judge another woman harshly for her choices, let's try to put ourselves in her shoes. If possible talk to each other become a support system to each other, stop being the enemy or playing the game of "I'm a better mother because . . ." If you see a working mom who is in need, talk with her, see if you can help. If you see a stay at home mother who is in need of help - help her. If we work at this together, we can raise great children who are well mannered, aware of consequences and who can live product, and God centered lives, but we have to stop fighting each other and work together as a team.
I hope you all have a good week. I will get off of my soap box now.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Then again, I am a person who enjoys well earned relaxation time. I have never been a person who feels like she has to try to juggle so many things that her head could possibly spin. I hate being so busy that I don't know if I am coming or going. I don't mind it occasionally, but not continually. It makes me nuts and I don't like being super stressed out. Maybe it because Mom didn't like it either so I didn't know any other way, but I tend to lean more towards the idea that I am this way because between both parents genetics, I got the mellow gene. I know I could have been different, because there are little things that remind me that I can be like Grandma Taylor and a stickler for things. I know this often when the little things begin to get to me and I have to step back and take a deep breathe and ask myself, "In the grand scheme of life, how important is this really going to be at the end of the day?" I find that tends to put things in perspective. There are little things I also do to stay mellow, like I purposely don't take on too many projects, because I don't like to be so busy it isn't funny.
When I found out that Chris was deploying, I began making a mental list of the things I knew I would need to consider cutting back on while he was away. So I backed off of several things I did for church and I was the FRG leader, but when Lizzie and Sarah were not doing well, I decided that I needed to let that go. Fortunately, there was someone to step into my place so I didn't leave them high and dry. I have found that in doing these things they help me stay calm and cool when things get tough. I can stop and take a deep breathe and look at things rationally and sort them out. It might not work for everyone, but it works for me.
These are the things that I know would make my Grandma nuts, but I also know that I need to stay this way for my sanity. I need to mellow, especially since high blood pressure runs in my family. I am 35 and need blood pressure medicine - that stinks. It isn't because of stress either, for me it's about sleep. When I don't get the sleep I need, then my blood pressure elevates. Of course, there are times when my stress level is high and it sends my blood pressure sky high. However, those times are few and far between. Those are also the times when I tend to step away from my life for a few moments and try to take those deep breathes too. Sometimes, it works, other times, not so much so. I hope someday to not need my blood pressure medicine, but sadly, that may not happen until I get to Heaven. Grrrrr . . .
Well I hope you all have a good week. I promise to try to write again soon.
Friday, November 13, 2009
That was my week in a nutshell. I spent Monday and Tuesday working on damage control because we thought we were -$6,000 in our banking account. So I was working with our bank to make sure it wouldn't ruin our credit. Then on Wednesday I discovered that the money had been returned to us again because you can't reclaim what isn't there. So now I am working with the company to fix this lovely snaffuu that they created and honestly, I prefer to deal with them than to deal with the bank. At least, working with Cessna won't ruin our credit.
Now for some very interesting developments - Chris is looking for employment and we are 89 days as of today and counting until he comes home. There are several opportunities that are opening up. I am not at liberty to discuss these options, but I will ask that you please keep us all in your prayers. Please pray for Chris as he searches for gainful employment, myself that I can be patient as we wait on God's timing, and that God will help Sarah and Elizabeth as they face the possibility that we may have to move. There are some opportunities here, but there are more likely possibilities that we will be able to pursue out of state. We could end up anywhere, but the neatest part is watching as God is opening doors for several job opportunities with people who can help Chris get hired on in these areas.
I will blog again in a day or two about something preferably of lighter fare. After all, it can't all be doom and gloom right?! Right. Now help me figure out how to tell Sarah that and make it connect in her brain.
Have a good week and God bless.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I am laughing as I write this because I just took a peak out our next LES payment stub and the military is paying us the back money they owed us. This money is because when our men and women are putting their lives on the line in order to aid their families w/bills and silly annoying every day things like that, the U.S. government does not require them to pay taxes. They finally have paid us the taxes they should not have been taking out, and yet, we still paid taxes on even that?! Now let me ask you - is it me or is that just a whole new level of stupid right there? Who in their right minds came up with this system I don't know, but they should maybe find a different job or be handed their walking papers. The only excuse I can think of is this - a man must have come up with this idea. A man who doesn't pay the bills at home, because he does such a poor job that his wife has taken over bill paying.
Now I may be wrong, and if I am then shame on the woman who came up with this system. Because surely you are giving us all a very bad name.
Have a good week.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Lizzie, Beka and Hayden have fought all day. I am ready to pack it up and head home. However, it should be noted that once I hit my saturation point, I am always ready to head out and get going. I'm one of those people who once I've made a decision, then I am ready to make it happen and tend to leap into action. Of course, I also analyze and probably over analyze the situation first so I can see all the possible scenario's and outcomes. So most of the time, the outcome is favorable.
This got me thinking though. In a world where we cannot control every aspect of our lives, why do we insist on trying so hard to do that very thing. How often have we each attempted to control our lives only to make a horrible debacle of the entire thing? How often do we hand the reigns over to Christ and let him turn what could potentially be a terrible situation into a beautiful and often amazing outcome? This is even when it takes us a while to see this for the amazing ending we hoped for. So often I am tempted to control the major things in life and I find continually that when I allow God to control it and be in charge that He makes it into something more beautiful than even I imagined.
I spent a lot of years wondering why life threw me lemons. Actually, it used to haunt me to a great extent and colored my life - why couldn't I be like those kids on SNU campus whose only worries were if they had a date for the weekend or if Daddy would buy them a new car. It wasn't that I wanted the new car or necessarily a date, because I knew what I was looking for in a man, but I wanted to have a life where I had trivial and mundane things. I didn't want to know so many of the things I knew about or understand as well as I did what it felt like to be another person's whipping post. In fact, it took going to another country to discover that I am who I am for reason's that only God could understand at the time.
I would often go to the rocky beach and walk down there and sit with my Bible and spend time with God. Sometimes I would talk, sometimes I would listen and in those times I began to let go of the pain, the hurts of the past and over that year I received healing. I am not saying I am perfectly whole - I'm still a work in progress (aren't we all). I am saying this - emotinoal healing is possible and I discovered a few years later exactly why I had the knowledge I have. God was preparing me to be Sarah's bonus mom. When she tells me about her hurts or her time w/her mom, I get it. I can understand how she feels - granted not in the exact same way, but I still understand her feelings.
So my thought for the day is this - let God have control. I know it sounds easy to say, but it isn't - trust me I too struggle with this -on a daily basis. However, I also know that when I relinquish control that God makes something beautiful - even in the middle of brokeness.
Have a good week.
Friday, October 16, 2009
You know your Grandma loves you when she is willing to dig with you for worms! My mother-in-law, Mary and I were enjoying the evening before I started dinner. We watched Lizzie and Hayden go digging around and they found earthworms. Now I don't have anything against them personally, but I was getting ready to cook dinner so touching one of them, was not on the agenda. Mary just held out her hand and looked at it and they talked about it and then - she went and helped them dig around for more worms. That is love!
So we spent a quiet day today at Mary and Ted's house. We enjoyed just lounging and goofing off with them. Beka discovered the joys and wonders of lounging on Grandma's couch, snuggled up in a blanket, watching Direct TV! She had a blast and then of course, she returned to the backyard and proceeded to play herself into an state of exhaustion. Let's just say nap time came easily for her today.
I took Lizzie for a drive in the mountains so she could go out and see the sights. She had a good time listening to the Christmas musical cd (it's for the kid's Christmas musical this year) and driving up and down and all around with Mommy. I think she had a good time, then I needed to come home and take a nap. It's hard work being the Mom, Worm Supervisor, and Chauffer - and these are the only jobs I can think of right now, I'm sure I have more job descriptions besides that.
Well I need to get going. We are going to start a fire and cook S'Mores for the kids.
Sarah pitched in and did the laundry while I took care of car maintainence and got snack food. The long and the short of it, by the time we finished getting ready and had everyone loaded up and heading out, Sarah became sick. Now Sarah dearly, dearly loves Grandma Mary and so the fact that she felt badly enough to ask if we could go home instead of heading out, speaks volumes. They are like peas and carrots and love each other very much. At one point it was to the point where Chris and I had to put some distance between them while Sarah adjusted to being a part of our family because it was like dealing with a junkie coming off a high when Sarah would come to us from Mary's. But the reason's behind this are another story for another blog entirely. So we went home and had pizza and watched movies and took baths and I took the two littlest girls with me to see Grandma Myers and Papa Bud and then to bed.
Tuesday morning we woke up fairly early and loaded up the car . . . again. We hit the road and made good time. I forgot to account for something though. Did you know that Wyoming is a very busy place on Monday-Wednesday and that finding a hotel is almost near impossible w/o a computer? Well neither did I. So after spending most of Tuesday in Nebraska and dealing with rain, stupid slow speed limits and road construction, I was ready to stop in Sydney, Wyoming. The only hotel room we had a hotel that had seen better days. So Mary got online and found us a very nice hotel just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming instead. Let me tell you a hotel has never looked so good. Spending 13 hours on the road driving when you are the lone driver is taxing to say the least. I ordered pizza and we watched Disney and went to bed. Sarah got some school work done and we headed out the next day.
Now if you've never been to Wyoming, there are a few things you should know. First, do not, I repeat do not be the only driver. Second, take your time and enjoy the beauty and sights of it. It is amazing and the kids loved the scenery and we even stopped a few times to look at stuff. Finally, stick to I-80 if that's the route you are taking because the back roads are no place to go alone with 3 children. We made it through, but I think we'll follow the Magellan next time and go through Utah.
Oh yes, did you know that there are large communities of Muslims in Utah? Oh and apparently they don't believe in electricity? LOL, this is of course, according to Sarah. When she told me this, I had to laugh. I corrected her after I finished laughing. Now I might not have laughed so hard, except she told me that Muslims and Mormons were the same thing. Then she added they lived w/o electricity?! So I had to laugh, she still says so many cute and amusing things.
We made it into Nampa around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Mary lead us in the whole way once we passed Mountain Home. So now we are here and enjoying some time to visit. I am in reality contemplating visiting for a few extra days and then we'll take 3 days to come home. I also plan to have the hotels planned out and reserved for us ahead of time.
I hope you all have a good week. And sadly, I forgot my camera, so there will be no photos to share. So sorry :(.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Last weekend, as Lizzie, Sarah, and Beka and I were traveling to Oklahoma to meet Meg and Sandy so the older girls could have a weekend with them; Lizzie asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. This really made me think about what had I aspired to at 15 and why I wasn't following that dream.
At 15 years old I dreamed of being a Christian music singer or even just a singer, anything that meant I got to sing. I also realized that at the time it defined who I was as a person. Around my senior year of high school, I began to realize that I was more than a nice girl with a beautiful voice. This made me pause, I suddenly began remembering why I hadn't followed this dream. First, I wanted to be defined as more than just a voice. Second, I felt God calling me in a different direction - towards helping others and at the time I thought possibly social work. All of these choices led me down a completely different path than the one I had initially planned for myself. One that has been filled with joys and of course, sorrows, but one I liked nonetheless.
It's amazing how in that moment, I no longer felt as if I should have made a different choice or that I hadn't done much. By some people's definitions I may not do much, but I am a good wife and good mom to my kids. Okay, so my house isn't immaculate, but my children are healthy and happy and I think fairly well-rounded. This will of course, be left completely up in the air until they grow up and leave home, but for the most part, they are healthy. I also realized that I am on the path I am on, because I made this choice and it wasn't made for me.
In addition, I understand that I am a homebody. I would much rather stay home with my girls and watch a movie or read a book than to be constantly on the go. It's who I am, and that's a good thing to know. So no thank you, I would not wish I had been an early version of Miley Cyrus or Britney Spears. Their lives are chaotic and filled with fake people who use and abuse them constantly, that is something I will gladly live without. So while my life goals are not huge, they are mine. And if all I accomplish from life is that our girls grow up to be women of faith (okay, I'm still working on being a better example on that one, I admit it freely) and happy and self-aware, then I think I will have done my job well. If my husband grows old with me and we are happy together, then I will have done my job and hopefully, I'll have done it very well.
I hope you all are living your dreams and that you are happy with the lives you are living. Because if you can be happy with your life, it kind of all falls into place doesn't it. Especially, when it means we are living our lives for Christ.
Have a good day.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
As I thought about this, I wondered what damage we may or may not have done to others with our use of nicknames. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones we whisper between friends about those who we think/hope cannot hear what we are saying. We are all guilty of it, at least we are if we are truly honest with ourselves. The nicknames we develop as private jokes about a person. Most often these are nicknames we choose because we hold malice towards this person.
So here is my question for the day: What are your nicknames? Would you share them with the person they are intended towards? If not, then should we really use them. After all, even those people who drive us nuts have feelings too and I think more often than we'd like to realize our nicknames inflict harm on others. Whether intentional or not.
The purpose of these questions is not to accuse, for I, myself am guilty of using nicknames in a derogatory manner. It is mearly meant to invoke thought and reflection. For as I said, I realize that I too have been guilty of using nicknames as a way to inflict harm emotionally on others.
I hope you have a good week.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
For some odd reason I have been missing my Grandma Taylor a lot lately. I say odd because, she's been gone almost 14 yrs now and we weren't especially close.
I think her death was much harder on my cousins Evan and Laura than on the rest of us. They were much closer to her than we were, but they weren't Americanized either, they'd spent years in India at a British boarding school while their parents worked at missionaries. So when they returned to America for college, they both had a pretty good relationship with her.
This doesn't mean that my cousins, and brother and sister didn't love her, we did very much. I also know that in our own way we miss her. However, as we grew up we went through a typical adolescent phase where her telling us what to do often irritated us and caused us to butt heads with her. I think I butted heads with her more than anyone. I am the combination of a laid back person with an amazing stubborn streak and I'll stick to my guns when told what I should be doing. This is especially true when it feels like I am being bossed around. I am the oldest, but I also spent the majority of my life having grown ups discount me because I was a child and so it tends to raise my hackles up a bit when I get bossed around or people attempt to manipulate me. Grandma didn't manipulate, she just bossed and nagged.
I used to joke that Grandma Taylor nagged those she loved and I was "loved" a lot. I say it in a joking manner, but as I raise my girls I realize that while Grandma wasn't big on hugs and kisses, she told us how much she loved us with her shows of "concern". So while she meant well, it often meant that we fought because we were different generations. Each generation had a different point of view and we couldn't quite help each other see where the we were coming from. It made for some very heated arguments. Two women who were not exceptionally tall standing facing each other nose to nose and yelling as loudly as they could. Sadly, nothing was solved this way, except to make the chasm between us ever greater.
I think I miss Grandma Taylor the most when it turns cold because that is when I start drinking hot tea. When you spend a few years living with your Grandma, you kind of have things that remind you of her. Like hot tea, soft boiled eggs in egg cups and my one keepsake from her, my memory quilt. I could have asked for a lot more, but the quilt and her mother's ring are the things that meant the most to me. Unfortunately, I no longer have the ring, due to some poor choices from others, but I still have the quilt and when I look at it, it reminds me of all the sewing and things she did. These are the small things that let me know that we meant a lot to Grandma Taylor. There are swatches of material from the awful jams she made for Matthew, dresses she made Meg and I, and some from Mom's clothing too and her own few things. I look at this quilt and remember that while Grandma wasn't big on hugs, she showed us in little ways that meant a lot to her. And that makes me miss her all the more.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Fall is here and I love Kansas in the Fall. I love how the leaves on the trees change colors and the air cools down. I love how it smells even, the air crisp and cool and it's the perfect time of year for jackets and walks. I must confess that Fall is one of my favorite seasons. My all time favorite season though is Winter.
Now I know most of you will read this and think I have lost my marbles, but I haven't. I dearly love when the weather gets cold and you can justify making a nice pot of tea and sip on it throughout the day, thanks to the wonders of automatic coffee makers. I think the thing I like about tea the most is that it reminds me of my Grandma Taylor. We didn't always get along or agree on things but she loved a good cup of English tea, so I am sure she would love a cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea and we could talk about the great grand kids if she were here. She was a very amazing woman, she made me nuts, but that doesn't diminish that she was a great woman in the least, but I'll write more about her in later blogs.
I love Winter because it means I can stay in with the girls and bake. I love to bake, and I love to eat what I bake, but these days it's not a good idea. I prefer to not pass out and scare the girls to death in the process. I already did that once to Chris, but I am getting off track. I love the cold nights under warm blankets and nice think sweaters and sweatshirts . These are the things I love most about Winter, warm sweaters, knitting, baking, reading a good book with a great cup of tea, snuggling with the girls, making arts and crafts to decorate the house for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I dearly love Christmas. I love everything about it. I love Christmas caroling, that people tend to try to be more generous during the season of Christmas, Christmas cantatas, hot cocoa, hot cider, trees and decorating said trees (although we do artificial ones for allergy reasons), snow and snowmen, snowball fights and the looks on the girls faces when they get out of school for two weeks break. I really do love it, I love going out and finding the perfect gift and sitting with family together to laugh and enjoy each other's company, there are so many more reasons I love it, but I will spare you the rest of my diatribe.
So as we head into what promises to be a chilly Fall and possibly an even chillier Winter, I wish you all a Happy Fall. I hope you all have a good week.
Love in Christ,
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Have we as a society really gotten so bogged down in physical appearance that those who are amazing individuals on the inside and outside can be overlooked whiles actors who are pleasing to the eye but morally bankrupt, them we put so much stock in?! How is possibly right? How can people who are great individuals with good hearts still remain unmarried when they have so many amazing qualities about them?
I remember being in class during college and some girls were laughing about one of these individuals. And you know what, this man is an amazing man. He takes what God said about taking care of the fatherless children to heart. He loves kids, God, and only wants to serve God and help others. Yet, because he acted goofy and is not what today's society deems physically attractive these girls were mocking him and making fun of him. I remember being so angry and turning to them and telling them off, because while I wasn't attracted to him and didn't see him that way (he is a good friend, but no sparks were present then or now) I found it outrageous that they thought they could tear this man down and disparage him in this way. Sadly, this man who they mock is still single. I'm also equally sure that he is still an amazing man of God who wants nothing more than to serve him. So Scotty Bauer - I will pray that God sends you a woman worthy of your admiration because you are a good man and deserve a woman who loves God as much as you do.
My other two acquaintances, I will pray the same prayer for you, but I'll allow you to remain nameless.
These are not really questions I expect people to answer. They are more rhetorical than something I want people to respond to for the time being.
Wow what a difference! I would like to tell you that I don't remember that time, but I do. It's not hard to forget being so heavy that spraining your ankle means you are screwed because you are too big for your husband to carry you. I look at that, and it makes me so determined to fight so I don't go back there again. That was not a good place for me - health wise or emotionally - when you are that big you always wonder if your spouse is a liar when he says you are sexy.
Monday, September 21, 2009
This Thursday I am heading to Kansas City with Sheri. Her oldest son, Brayden is meeting with the special education teacher for Lawrence Virtual School for testing so he can stay. I am very proud of Sheri - she is sticking to her guns this time and it's beginning to pay off. I am also very proud of Brayden. He is working very hard, despite one of his younger brothers giving him grief.
I would love to tell you that I have some lovely ancedote for this post, but I don't. It's been very boring around here. I get in laps at the mall or zoo and then spend the day playing with Beka and getting her good and tired for nap time and then bed time.
Lizzie is doing well. She is finally settling in to a school routine, this is great because she was struggling. Oh and Mrs. Silveous asked to use us for a class project. She is working on completing her Master's degree in Special Education - she is a great teacher and we are so lucky to have her as Lizzie's teacher. She is a very lovely wonderful woman who is older, and extremely understanding and always willing to fight for Elizabeth. Just keep Lizzie in your prayers, because she is getting to the age where children become cruel and so she's learning how to face adversity and the cruelty of others - we are all working with her on it. Her speech therapist, Mrs. Silveous, Mrs. Parker and myself. We are teaching her to brush it off and not let them see her get upset. Keep your fingers crossed that it works.
So lately it's been a struggle. I am tired. I am tired of cleaning up messes that never seem to stay clean (emotionally and at home physically). I am tired of feeling like I work hard and it's in vain. I am tired of fighting this fight for Lizzie - even though she's learning to fight it herself, I still am in there fighting for her. But mainly, I am tired period. I hit 35 this year and it occurred to me that I thought I'd be a recording artist at this point in my life and I'd be doing other things. Of course, at 15 I didn't want to have children either - that didn't change until 10 yrs later. I didn't see myself married and a mom. This isn't to say that I am sorry I am married or a mom, it's just learning to let go of the dreams I had for myself and create new ones. One of them is raise the girls to be women of faith and who love God and serve Him. And yet it often feels like I am failing so miserably. Don't listen to me, I'm kind of in a funk and need a good bout of miles walked at the mall or Sedgwick County Park. I hope you all have good week.
Friday, September 11, 2009
There is no real rhyme or reason to these photos, it just kind of came together the way the blog program put them together. Here are Sheri and Davy Joy Trotter. We all met up at the Sedgwick County Zoo on Labor Day. We tried to meet up w/Mike and Lisa Aragon too, but by the time they made it, it was getting very crowded and I needed to take Beka home for a nap.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I have come to this conclusion after three dogs, a cat, and a fish have left our house some form or another. The dogs and the cat thankfully all left alive. The poor sad fish not so much - it was flushed into a watery grave. So if it was playing opossum it did a good job, because we flushed it.
Our first dog, Cinnamon, we rescued from a house filled with too many animals to even think straight. She was a cute, small, reddish brown dachsmund. We went to the home expecting to pick up another dog, but Cinnamon persisted in gaining our attention, so we took her instead. In hindsight, this should have been a clue as to how stubborn this one little adorable dog could become. She was cute, I was pregnant, newly married and lonely - and she was Chris' idea to help me with my loneliness. It worked until we had Elizabeth, who Cinnamon became jealous of and hence, she proceeded to let us know she was unhappy about our new arrival by pooping and pottying in Elizabeth and Sarah's room every chance she got. Of course, she had to go - especially after me catching her and she looked me defiantly in the eye as she did it. How I managed to control my anger enough to not punt her down the stairs is amazing to me still to this day.
Then came Hank, a HUMONGOUS Labrador Retreiver dog. He was a horse, not a dog and after one month he began to bully Elizabeth and actually nipped her on the face. Bye, bye Hank, we loved you well for one month.
Then we were adopted by a cat who we named Jo - as in Dorothy Josephine - she was a neighborhood cat. We actually would still have her, IF Rebekah, Elizabeth and myself had not had allergies to cats. She lasted two years - and Sarah was very sad to see her go and so were we in reality - she was a good cat. Darned allergies.
Now, I come to our fish. Poor little guy. I drove to PetSmart because Lizzie really, really wanted a fish. I asked about the most resilient fish they had that could withstand a little girl who had autism and was only 5 yrs old at the time. As I left the store with this fish, I suddenly realized that I had condemned this poor defenseless creature to a fate worse than death. . . Elizabeth. I decided then and there that I would not replace him if he died (at least I assume it was a he). The poor guy - didn't even last 24 hours - he only made it all of 20 hours. Now in Elizabeth's defense, she had help killing her fish. Chris insisted that he just put the fish in brand new water w/o allowing it to acclimate, so I know that the guppy was already under a lot of stress. So imagine it's terror and immediate demise when Elizabeth stuck her wand into the tank and swirled it around and around. LOL! That poor fish - death was a mercy indeed.
Last but surely not least, we come to Sofie. Sofie we rescued from our neighbors around the corner. I didn't realize I was rescuing her when I got her - I thought they needed to find her a home, I wanted a dog, how hard could it be - famous last words. I wanted a dog to keep me company whilst Chris was deployed and to aid my goal of lowering my blood pressure. I had read an article that said animals were beneficial to people who struggled with high blood pressure. This dog, did not lower it. . .if anything, she raised it.
We got her on a Friday and on a Tuesday she was hit by a car. So welcome to the family, poor Sofie. After she finished convalescing she went to the groomers. She had fleas! And they had to shave her down very close to the skin because no matter how much I worked on it, she had mange - thanks to previous owners. Then after 7 months I realized she was acting very sluggish and prepared to get her fixed and it turned out she had heartworms and had had them for quite some time. And a week later, I discovered that she also had hookworms. What started out as a free dog ended up costing us over $1200 to get her well again. This figure is not including the vet bill after she was hit by the car by the way. That is what we spent to get her well from fleas, heartworms, grooming to fix her mange, and to cure her of hookworms. After all of this, the darned animal looked me square in the eye and proceeded to poop in front of my door. I spent almost a year attempting to break her of pooping and going potty in the house and in the end I decided she had to go. I found her a new home across the street from us, so that she could be near us and close to the neighbors because I promised I'd let them know. I would have if the mom wasn't being such a witch too.
So while I love animals and think they are adorable, I have come to realize - I AM NOT EVER GOING TO BE A PET PERSON! I don't say this lightly either, this is after three dogs, a cat, and a poor doomed fish. They should have our pictures up in pet stores saying, DON'T LET THESE PEOPLE HAVE PETS. THEY ARE A DANGER TO ANIMALS EVERYWHERE. But they don't and Chris and I have talked about it, and we realize that pets just don't belong in our home.
I hope you all have a good week.
Love in Christ,
Saturday, August 22, 2009
This has been a rough week. Lizzie is struggling to do well in school. She is averaging either red or yellow each day. I think I need to have a chat w/her teacher. I more than likely won't, but it sounds good. She has a new teacher, and now she is upstairs with the older kids, and Mrs. Silveous is in Mrs. Hall's room now - Mrs. Hall was last years teacher and she is seriously missing Daddy. She started crying on Wednesday when I picked her up from school and told me she really missed Daddy. I think with all these changes and Chris being gone it's getting to her. Plus, the kids are getting bigger and let's call an ace an ace here - as kids get older they get mean. It's true and it's bugging her. So today I took her to the zoo and we spent the morning with Aunt Sheri, Kiernan, Saidra, and Canaan and of course, Bekaboo. They had a good time, but there were A LOT of people there, so they didn't have as much freedom as usual.
So keep Lizzie in your prayers, and me - I am pretty sure that I am going to end up in Powerhouse Kidz tomorrow (it's Saturday while I write this).
Well I need to get going. Everyone have a good week.
Love in Christ,
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Lizzie started school on Monday. I don't know what transpired during the day, but she was excited to go to school and came home not wanting to go back EVER - as she said. I would have found this amusing, except I was concerned about what would happen with her teacher this year. I am sure she's a good teacher, but I wasn't able to meet with her previously like I usually do since I am kind of everything for everyone right now. So I sent a note to her this evening in Lizzie's take home folder and hopefully we can meet sometime this week. I don't think she really did anything wrong, I do think that Elizabeth is a little oversensitive right now. I just need this fixed. Elizabeth really needs to enjoy school and want to go as much as possible - there is a reason that Mrs. Silveous and I pick her teachers each year. Normally, I would let the cards fall where they may, but this isn't possible for her, since she has special needs and this requires a certain type of finess to work with her. I also know Mrs. Silveous wouldn't have recommended her teacher, Mrs. Parker if she wasn't a good teacher for Lizzie. Hopefully, we can fix this before it gets out of hand. I really need this fixed before she ends up hating school.
Sarah is now officially enrolled in IQ Academy in Lawrence, KS. It's an online high school and their curriculum looks wonderful and amazing, so I have great hopes that she will be ready for college in four years like I would love for her to be. The best part is I am not her teacher, she has teachers and they can assign her homework and give her grades, so I am not the mean, stepmom AND her teacher at the same time. Thank you Sheri for telling me about it.
This brings me to another topic. Lately, Sarah has gone through a new stage of making sure that people know I am not her "real mom" but her "stepmom". You know it's not what she says, it's how she says it. Like I have some disease because I didn't give her life. And all of this makes me wonder why I even bother to try. It's not like she even realizes the crap I go through for her or what I do for her. I love her so much, and it is a constant kick you in the teeth experience on a fairly regular basis. AAAAHHH! It makes me wonder if I am sane for doing everything I do and if I wouldn't have been better off following another path. I don't mean that I would choose to not meet Chris and marry him, but maybe a different path. like better birth control or something and then Lizzie and Beka give me those stupid cheeky grins of theirs and I am reminded that I wouldn't trade them for anything in the whole wide world. Those smiles, and Sarah's smile are why I am a mom. Is it heartbreaking and gut wrenching - oh yeah. But it is also the greatest adventure I could ever take.
Okay I'll stop being all mushy and gross now. I hope you all have a good week.
Love In Christ,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Okay so Sheri and I are currently training to do the Walk for Diabetes in October. We were going to do the Walk for Autism as well, but they both happen to fall on October 5th this year. So we chose to not travel to Kansas City this time, maybe next year.
The point of me telling you all this, is well exactly this, we started walking at Sedgwick County Park and it's gorgeous. We've been taking different trails and learning seeing a lot of neat things. We want to check out the Arboretum, but we haven't had our hats with us lately, and I don't know about any of you, but I don't find the idea of ticks enjoyable at all, no matter how beautiful and splendid we find the Arboretum. So today we took a different path and while walking along there, I discovered how amazing it was there. It makes me itch for Fall to start already. I love Fall, it's one of my favorite seasons. I like three out of four seasons so that can't be all bad, but Fall is my favorite. I love the changing of the leaves and I love all the amazing colors that come with those changes. I love how even though it signifies the beginning of what is essentially death for the plants for a the winter months that with the end of the cycle is amazing beauty. Hmmm . . . I think I see an analogy coming on, because while society would tell us that as we age we become old and not needed or no longer beautiful, God's plan is that we improve with age and our wisdom. We gain insights and see the world and it's beauty (okay some of us see it's beauty) and hopefully, we will pass this on to our younger generations instead of hoarding it all to ourselves. So that is my deep thought for the day.
We are doing much better here. We are gearing up for school to begin next week and are working to find our routine. I will go to North High tomorrow and inform them that I am placing Sarah in a combination of homeschooling curriculum from Bob Jones University and she will also be doing IQ Academy online. I think surely betwixt the two she should receive a rounded education, right? I also have the books so she may use them as resources to use for papers as well as a way to have a rounded perspective.
Lizzie is doing well, her vision is the same, and we will keep patching. I need to get her in for her yearly well check etc . . . and she has one cavity according to the dentist, so we go back to get her cavity taken care of in September.
Beka is good, although I will be writing another blog shortly about last week that will amuse and entertain you all although it made me want to swear at the time.
We love you all.