Friday, November 30, 2007

An OCD's Nightmare

Eighteen kindergartners.

Eighteen milk cartons.

6 mommies.

4 tubs of frosting.

Umpteen graham crackers.

Gazillions of MnMs.

More sprinkles than you can fathom.

Candy and marshmallows as far as the eye can see.

Thank you, Jesus they were not doing this at my house!

They finished with a good old fashioned "Run, run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!". Here they are laying on their "cookie sheet".

Have I mentioned I love my life? Helping do this is definitely one of the perks of being a mom!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


3 is the number of shoes the STUPID dog has eaten in the last 12 hour period. 3 shoes from 3 different pairs so basically she has rendered 6 shoes inoperable.

1 pair of The Husband's dress shoes (which he wears about 4 times a year but still needs to have on hand) and 1 of my sassy black boots and 1 of my favorite slip-ons that took me nearly forever to find the exact pair I was looking for.

About 2 weeks ago she ate one of my black dress shoes that I wear about twice a year, but are very much needed for functions like the one I am attending tomorrow night!

I know, you're wondering why she even has access to the closet with the shoes.

Don't you remember? I have a brain the size of a peanut.

I guess I'm shoe shopping later today as if I don't have enough to do and spend money on!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I Want to Post About

I have no time to write an actual post today, but there a few thoughts and stories fresh in my mind that I hope to share this week.....

1. Praying for the man at GAS's doctor's office and being asked if I was a missionary.

2. My comments to the staff about the raunchy Alicia Keyes poster hanging in the radio station at JA Biztown.

3. Pictures of our tree, Oscar, who is leaning so badly it looks like he needs to lay off the egg nog.

4. Preparations for having 50 people at our house this weekend for a youth staff Christmas party.

5. Our school "holiday" program with the "unity tree". Oh brother.

And, just on time...I hear the bus pulling up!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

My latest phobia? My life is going too well. Yes. I'm actually afraid that my life is going so well that some terrible thing is just looming around the corner to change everything. Now, it's not like life is perfect. There are some issues that I wish were different, but I'm believing God has control over those areas (over ALL areas, actually!) and I don't need to worry. If I sound like I'm babbling it is probably because I am.

You see, since The Husband and I, scratch that.....since The Husband and I met there has always seemed to be some immense burden we were carrying, some trauma to be enduring or a major transition to adjust to.

Now, there is none of that. My life is full and peaceful. I don't mean to sound contrite about it, it actually scares me sometimes. As I have periodically preached to my kids....Jesus never promised us an easy life. Being a Christian doesn't mean we always get what we want. So, it is in this time of stability that my thoughts run wild with all the things that could go wrong tomorrow. GAS has a cold, what if it turns into pneumonia? We are refinancing our house, what if everything falls through at the last minute? We will finally have health insurance this coming Saturday and what if someone gets hurt at gymnastics tonight? BLAH, BLAH, BLAH and on and on.....

That is when I start praying these scriptures over and over in my mind:

Perfect love casts out all fear and I'm taking these thoughts captive to Christ Jesus.

Good stuff to think about instead of sounding like doom is knocking at my door.

And while there are still things that trouble me and my life is not perfect I am so content right now that I can't begin to describe it. Not content in an indifferent kind of way, content in a grateful kind of way. Because right now I know God has me where He wants me and His plans are perfect!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh My Word Times One Hundred!!!!

The election results are in! #1 was elected mayor of her team! I feel like I am going to burst! Over 10 kids ran for office and I am just in awe of God's favor at work in her life! I don't know how she is going to sleep tonight because it was finally posted on the website and I actually had to go down and tell her while she was already in bed! We all had a shriek and hugging fest and after the dust settled she came over to me, hugged me and said she couldn't have done it without me.

Add this to one of those "Golden Mom Moments" I'll remember for the rest of my life!

Even better is that tomorrow night is my training at JA Biztown so I can be there to see how she runs the town when they head down for the day in a few weeks. I've been assigned to oversee the radio station. I wonder if I'll get to have lunch with the mayor?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Does Everything We Do Have To Be A Major Theatrical Production??!

We went and got our tree today and in typical oH mY wORD family style we were the loudest family at the tree yard (much to The Husband's dismay). We were all (except the afore-mentioned Husband) passionately excited about what tree would be the MOST! PERFECT! TREE! EVER! #2 and I happened upon a tree that was big and when I say big, I don't necessarily mean tall, I mean "lay off the fries" big. We even named it Oscar. I'm not sure why, but we did. After a complete split decision that got louder and louder and had The Husband standing further away from us as each moment passed trying to pretend he was with a nice quiet family, happily agreeing about their perfect not-so-big-around-the waist tree. #2 had her arms wrapped around Oscar and I was accused of petting him while we explained that everyone else gets nice looking trees that are so well proportioned they look fake, and that Oscar would probably die in this tree graveyard all alone because he was.....well.....he was different.

I finally caved (to #2's horror) and went with #1 and The Husband's choice because it was a nice looking tree and I DID want to get home at some point today and end The Husband's afternoon of humiliation. But, when we brought the men over to "chop" it down or whatever they do I noticed the tree had sort of a yellowish tinge to it. Well, #1 quickly agreed that we should get Oscar because I think:

1. She felt sad that #2 was forlornly standing by Oscar with the biggest boo-boo face ever (I actually think she was praying and asked God to curse the wretched tree that had taken Oscar's place).

2. A yellow tree could be a sign of some form of remote tree sickness that could be passed on to humans while they sleep, particularly 11 year old females.

So, without further ado I present to you (drum role please).........OSCAR:

Sorry he's naked...we'll be dressing him in array of mismatched, no-theme ornaments and lights tomorrow. Isn't he just the sweetest tree ever??

Friday, November 23, 2007

Woo-hoo! I Did It!

Well, I didn't get up at 4am this year, but I did head out at 7am this morning for 2 specific items and I got BOTH of them. In fact, I got the very last one of the main item I went out for. I must be vague because my kids like reading my blog!

Yay me!

I am so laid back this Christmas.....last year I made a bunch of "handmade" gifts that caused me to stay up late at night muttering under my breath, but since I have lost touch with the crafty side of me I don't feel the pressure to do that this year. I also decided I am not spending a fortune on shipping costs so the nieces and nephews are getting gift cards. I know, a few posts back I was complaining that gift cards require so little thought, but I like to get them and I'm sure everyone else does, too. I mean, I don't want a gift card from EVERYONE, but it is nice to hit the post-holiday sales with a little spending money. I've also been buying things on sale throughout the year and throwing it in my "gift tubbie". It is a rather large Rubbermaid tub with an array of nice items that will make lovely teacher gifts, "white elephant"gifts, etc...So, now in combination with my awesome purchases this morning, I am almost done "mental" shopping. That's much harder than the physical shopping! Once I know what I'm getting for someone the hard part is over. You will NEVER see me roaming aisles of a store at Christmas time saying "I wonder what So-and-so would like .........". NEVER. I think it is the marketing research person in me. I will use my computer for the very reason it is meant to be used....a tool! I think, too, it is a survival technique since taking my kids to stores any longer than grabbing the desired item off of the shelf and going directly to the cash register causes a severe migraine that can take hours to get rid of.

Did anyone else score any deals today?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cooking Up A Little ZERT

It is our Thanksgiving tradition. When #1 was a wee little one (age 2, I believe) my mom had asked us to bring what we called growing up "Pineapple Delight". I asked #1 if she wanted to help me make it and she asked "what is it?" in her cute toddler language and I told her it was for dessert.

When we arrived at my mom's she enthusiastically told everyone that she helped to make "zert" and it has become a Thanksgiving tradition each year to make it and bring it wherever we happen to be having Thanksgiving dinner. It is so easy to make, but somehow this year I managed for the first time ever to make it wrong! Instead of adding mandarin oranges, I gave #1 a can of peaches to open and we dumped it on the very top of everything and just stared at it thinking "MAN! THOSE are some big oranges!". Duh. We left them in there and I added some cinnamon so who knows what we may have come up with!

Here is the recipe. It is delicious and a slight bit different than the version I grew up with (my mom used cool whip and no oranges). Most people call it ambrosia and have their own variations, too.

1 can crushed pineapple
1 can drained pineapple chunks
1 can drained mandarin oranges (or peaches if you're in a walking coma like me)
1 bag small marshmallows
1 16 oz container sour cream

Dump it all together and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like. I also think it would be yummy with shredded coconut, but I'm the only one who likes that so I never put it in. Don't worry if it looks soupy when you make it, the marshmallows absorb the liquid overnight.

Happy Thanksgiving.....I think I'll be at JC Penney's when they open the doors at 4am Friday morning. Anyone else going shopping in the wee hours of Black Friday?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Excessive Mom Bragging

See below how we cleverly covered her name and isn't my pink RAZR phone just adorable??!

Today is #1's election for mayor. This year in social studies they participate in a program called JA Biztown. The kids study life skills and economics and then go to this "town" and live a day in the life of_________________. They go to their jobs, pay taxes, eat in restaurants and if they don't pay their fines, they even go to jail! #1 is running for mayor with about 10 other classmates and has to give her speech today. I am trying to not be biased, but this kid CAN SPEAK! She gave her speech at the dinner table last night (I only helped polish it a tiny bit over the weekend) and The Husband sat there with his mouth almost hanging open because she could easily have been in a college public speaking class. Good eye contact & body language, no "ummm" and loud, clear and not too rushed. Except for looking almost too serious, it was fabulous! I tried to teach her to "smile with her eyes" and she caught on to it after we laughed hysterically at her mimicking me! The problem is that no matter how good her speech is, the kids still vote for who they want and it can be just another "election" in a long list of "popularity" contests. She actually addresses that problem in her speech.

I decided after I dropped her professional-looking self off at school this morning with her bagged cookies that said "Vote for #1....she's one smart cookie" that I want to go into a mother/daughter marketing consultant business after she graduates from college. She wants to be a third grade teacher, but I want to work with her because she is very clever and talented and if this is just sixth grade, what are the next ten years going to look like??!

We'll be rich, I tell you. RICH! Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!! (sinister laughter)

Just kidding. That would certainly be the least of my reasons. As we have campaigned this last week, we have grown closer. In fact, she had to be "interviewed" for the position and the last question she was asked was who she most admired and why. She said "my mom". That's ME!!! She said ME!! When asked why, she said because I am helpful and always there for her when she needs me. Gulp. Eyes filling up with tears. Lump in my throat.

So whether she is a third grade teacher, my business partner or president of the United States of America I know we'll aways have a special bond and I'll always be proud of her! And, I'll look back fondly on this campaign we worked on together because we both won no matter what happens with the election!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Extreme Home Makeover - My Worst Nightmare Edition (O.K. Not Really!)

The Husband, who I do really love, has decided to finish our master bathroom which was only partially remodeled when we moved it in July. It had dry wall and fixtures, but it needed to be sanded, painted, trim put up..... all that jazz. The teensy problem is his timing.

For all you moms out you remember when you were pregnant and that "nesting" instinct kicked in? Those last few months you wanted all your ducks in a row and you only wanted to leave home for dire emergencies like, let's say.....childbirth? Well, a little, tiny bit of that nesting instinct hits me when the weather turns cold and I must start the preparations for Christmas merriment. And, you know what? I don't want my bathroom to look like this while I AM SUPPRESSING THE NESTING INSTINCT:

By the way, that is not a beer can, it is some funky energy drink The Husband was testing out.

I must curl my hair in #2's room or the downstairs bathroom (which is nice and all, it's just so far away from MY THINGS and I like to be near MY THINGS). I had to put my make-up on in the kid's Mickey Mouse motif bathroom...the one I would curl my hair in if there were any electrical outlets. I had a very difficult time thinking how strangely bizarre it was to be putting make up on with Mickey Mouse everywhere, yet I have no problem peeing in that bathroom.

But, I am excited that my new color is perfect and tropical and I hope to soon clear out my cluttered bedroom where all the bathroom things are living now....cluttered bedroom does not help the nesting instinct. Nope, it sure doesn't.

How many more days 'til Christmas?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rambling Thoughts in Line at the Grocery Store

1. Matt Damon is NOT the sexiest man alive. Sorry, People Magazine. The hottest man alive would have to be my one and only, The Husband.

2. I have such mixed feelings over the array of gift cards being sold at Giant for other chain stores. I'm sorry, but that requires so little thought and isn't that the point of giving a gift? To be THOUGHTFUL. YET, I am strangely relieved that instead of emergency buying the very obvious "grocery store" gift (aka box of candy/fruit basket/flowers/ground beef) I can actually get something of value that the recipient will actually use. Ohhhhh....I just can't decide what to think about it and isn't it sad that I can't somehow find some resolve about something so unimportant?

3. My final thought in the line was how I would need to lose about 127 pounds to squeeze past the "tractor trailer" size cart (with the kid seats. Oh yeah. You know which one I'm talking about) and actually be able to put my groceries on the belt without becoming a contortionist. The irony is that for as much as #3 BEGS and PLEADS in all ranges of LOUDNESS, she jumps ship after the produce aisle and doesn't even ride in the darn cart for the next 45 minutes until our journey comes to an end. And, yet, we repeat this ordeal each and every time we go to the store. Why? Because, as my good friend, Hannah Montana says, "my brain is the size of a peanut".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm A Mom on a Mission help #1 get elected "mayor" help #3 learn her letters and their sounds help #2 improve in her reading and writing

I've been painting and glittering campaign posters and baking cookies in alphabet shapes and listening to Junie B Jones. I feel as if I have squeezed a week's worth of activities into the past 48 hours, but aside from a slight headache I feel good. God has really been speaking to me about some things. Anger being one of them.

The other morning God directed me to read John and I turned to the story of Lazarus. I read it, but I didn't really "get it". Over the last few weeks I've been hearing about or reading about bad things happening to good people and it has made me angry, not sad. Last Thursday, I was waiting for #2 to get her hair cut and there was an old People magazine. It was about the Connecticut family that was kidnapped and killed and only the father survived. I was so mad as I finished the article, I mean like ready to explode. Usually things like that make me sad or scared, but this was different. I felt something literally shift inside me and I was bound and determined the devil would not have any liberty to destroy anyone I came in contact with, including the lady cutting #2's hair. So, like a missile I shot out my chair and I wasn't even sure what I would say to her her other than God loves you and He sent His Son to die for your sins except that when I got to her all I could think to tell her was what a great job she was doing. Duh. My heart pounding in my chest and I'm saying, "Wow! You are so good at what you do". She looked pleasantly surprised and I stood there wanting to say more, begging for something that didn't know....insane and that was it. Just some chipper words of encouragement and a good tip was all I could come up with. I was kicking myself as we walked out the door wondering what that whole episode was all about.

So, anyway....the next few days I'm feeling like I should go back to reading John again, there's the Lazarus story. That's when I saw it. It said that Jesus got ANGRY. In fact it specifically said that "anger rose up in Him" and you know what? He was mad at what the devil had done...cut His friend's life short and He (Jesus) was going to do something about it.

Whoa. He didn't have a temper tantrum or a meltdown. He. raised. the. dead!!!

Twice it mentions in that passage that Jesus was angry and interestingly enough it says He wept, too. That just blows me away. How can we even wonder if He understands what we go through day by day? Of course, He understands. But, His anger, much unlike ours, resulted in the power of God to raise someone who was 4 days dead. My anger, by contrast, results in sin.

But, I'm trying to change that. And, I preached my little sermon to the family tonight and they held onto every word. Then #2 prayed that Jesus would help us to keep our hearts soft and not get hard.

Amen, Sweetheart. Amen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Dropped the Ball

As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended a meeting tonight regarding a reading intervention program that #3 was recommended for. The guilt would be unbearable if not for the grace of God!

Reading to my kids somehow went from a privilege 10 years ago to drudgery now and it is showing. #3 will be staying through lunch and the afternoon two days a week to have fun learning literacy. You know....something HER MOTHER should have been teaching her at home the last six years of her life. But, no....her mother is sick, sick, sick of Danny and the Dinosaur and The Foot Book. I am ashamed of myself.

I pride myself (that's bad, too) on sacrificing for my family, yet somehow I missed the boat here. And, I'm embarrassed to even admit it. Let's face it. #3 was raised in a restaurant and spent many of her days watching videos in a playpen. Baby Einstein can only do so much. She is still a TV junkie only with some computer time thrown in. I'll offer to read to her and the only time she wants to is if she can avoid bedtime by letting me read to her. Thankfully, her love for the outdoors, music and cooking gives me something enticing to offer her besides the one thousandth rerun of Kim Possible. As I type this, SHE IS WATCHING TV!!!! I gotta go now.....time to ask for her forgiveness and do this "Mom thing" right.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So Many Thoughts, So Little Time

  • My hair is finally being rescued tomorrow with a good cut and a couple bottles of my newest shade experiment....golden chestnut mare or something like that.
  • High School Musical on Ice was worth every penny we spent to go and #3 didn't even experience her strange, vertigo nausea because (thank you, Jesus) we were only 11 rows off the ice.
  • Day One of our "We're All in This Together" elementary talent show auditions were boring. The kids weren't boring, there just weren't many there. Most of them are coming tomorrow. I will confide that the only 2 moms who signed up to help on the committee have never seen the HSM movies or heard the music so it's sort of like having to speak in a foreign language to them whenever I'm trying to describe something like Ryan's hats or the basketball tricks in Get Your Head in the Game. I'm getting used to their blank stares by now and I just nod my head excitedly as if that will help them understand what I am saying. Again, being the "new girl" at school I have this strange feeling this is sort of like a crazy initiation that the PTO thought up to see if I'm really the calm, cool, collected person I appear to be. Let's let Melissa chair the Talent Show. Woo-hoo!
  • Gas prices. I could cry.
  • I've been painting posters and helping make flyers for #1's race for mayor at school and there are about 15 other kids running against her. #1, as I've mentioned before, is so much like me she cannot stand the thought of losing. We've got candy to hand out with stickers that she hand-wrote that say "Vote for #1....she is so sweet". I'm proud of her and scared for her at the same time. She cries almost every day about it for some reason or another.
  • Speaking of being scared for #1, her family sciences or whatever the heck it's called nowadays (Home Ec) teacher is terrifying my precious daughter. She's very abrupt, harsh and confusing which is sad because I want my girls to enjoy cooking and sewing. In an attempt to win this woman over I have volunteered to go grocery shopping for her. So, tomorrow (the busiest day of my life) I am going to get her list, go to Giant, shop on charge and take it all back to school after the other 2 get dropped off at their school, but, before GAS and my hair appointments, before round 2 of auditions, before soccer practice, and before a school meeting about #3 needing extra help with reading (an entire humbling post for another day). It's all good though because #1 said that her teacher was nicer to her today after she found out I was grocery shopping....hopefully, I won't have to resort to foot massages or toilet cleaning for the teacher to keep #1 feeling safe and secure in her home/family/sciences whatever-it-is-called class. Do you see what we do for our firstborns? It's nuts, I tell you.
  • Christmas. I'm....I mean, WE are going to make bunches of little snowmen with water bottles, socks and felt. It's been awhile since I've gotten in touch with my crafty side. I love's my Best Friend's birthday, you know!
  • Our 10, 000 library books are due back tomorrow and I only read one of them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's Her Party, She Can Fly If She Wants To

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Super Number Three!
We had a bunch of superheros over to save the day and celebrate Super Number Three's top secret birthday mission!

We played "Pass the Kryptonite". (I know that isn't spelled right). We also discovered that the "Bad Girl" in black stole the cupcakes....

So, after we found her hiding, the superheros tied her to a chair......

We made a web for Spiderman.

After our pinata and some obstacle course runs to test our endurance and agility we had cupcakes (that "Super Frugal Mom" bought for $5.19 at Costco an hour before the party started because she thought the 1/4 sheet cake from Weis with Spiderman on it for $17.99 was a rip-off!).

Here are all the superheros with their masks (I can't reveal their true identities) and the "Bad Girl" is in jail so she can't steal anymore cupcakes.

Mission accomplished.

Friday, November 9, 2007

I May Be Quiet for Awhile

As hard as it is to imagine, I may not have much time for blogging over the next week. Today are parent-teacher conferences and preparations for #3's "Superhero" party tomorrow. In the meantime, I must make fundraiser deliveries, get haircuts and drop off for a sleepover. Fast forward to Sunday where The Husband and #1 are on worship team at church (which means arriving an hour early), we are having a family birthday party immediately following church and, then.....are you sitting down? I got tickets for #3's birthday to High School Musical on Ice!!! #1 is already going with her bff for her bff's birthday, so I bought tickets for me, #2 and #3 to go, also. It was so funny/sad when we told #3 that #1 was going to HSM on Ice with her bff. #3 started to cry because she didn't let me finish the story that she was also getting tickets to go for her birthday. We had to tell her three times before it registered and she stopped crying and started schrieking with joy!

Now that I've bored you all half to death with the mundane details of my weekend I'll finish by saying that Monday continues the marathon with a Tastefully Simple party here and then goes right into the Elementary Talent Show auditions and meetings with teachers. And, #1 is running for "mayor" of her team for this big social studies thing they do through Jr. Achievement so I'll be helping her campaign. My family MUST stay healthy this week! There is no time for illness. At some point during this crazy week, I have got to get a warmer coat for #3, she has been going out to recess at school in a windbreaker! Although, it's not as though the cold bothers her! We've tried on several coats to which she insisted they were "too hot". No amount of explaining that it is warmer inside the store than it will be outside could convince her. Lord, help me.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Birthday, #3!

My baby turns six today at 9:50 am! I'm slightly devastated! Last night at church I saw some toddlers dancing during worship in the front of the church and my heart melted with memories of mine at that age doing the very same thing! My, how time flies! #3 is my sweet little girl who still calls me Mama and most days I would like to freeze time and keep her exactly this age. But, that will stop her from growing into all that God has for her. And, I can't wait to see that either.

This was the "surprise" baby, but also a baby that God used to bring a lot of healing needed from my miscarriage 4 months prior to becoming pregnant with her. To lose a baby is very hard, but the grief was overshadowed by the pure joy in knowing #3 would not be here if God's plan had worked out differently (that's not to say she's "better" than the baby I lost, or God's plans included a miscarriage, I'm not saying that at all. He allowed all this to happen with a purpose in mind that we cannot understand.). She is who God placed in our family and I literally rejoice over that fact every day.

She is filled with this charismatic personality that draws people of all ages to her. She is rarely shy, and is quick to make friends at the McDonald's Play Place or Chuck E. Cheese. #3 is the strongest willed child in the house, more than the other 2 combined most days. God is helping us to learn to harness her "powers" for the good of mankind. Strong willed isn't a bad thing unless it is allowed to turn into rebellion. We walk that line just about everyday trying to discern what's going on with her. Thankfully, she is eager to please her teachers at school, but not to the point of backing down from her beliefs. When her teacher was handing out Halloween stickers, she said "No, thank you. I'm a Christian". The teacher gave her a flower sticker instead.

She is the person in this house that helps the rest of us to take life less seriously! Her favorite game to play with me after school is "Donkey". We go out on the trampoline and she rides on my back while I try to throw her off, all the while making donkey noises. This is "our thing" and we both crack up the entire time we are playing! She's funny without even knowing she's funny, partly because she's the youngest. When #1 turned six, I had an infant and a toddler and not much of a sense of humor in that season of life! Sleep deprivation does that, you know! If any of them were being funny, most of the time I didn't notice. And, back then, there was no way anyone was going to ride on my back while I made "EEY-AAHH" noises on the trampoline.

So, this precious #3 has a blessed, wonderful life ahead of her. While I love that she's still "little", I am looking forward to watching her grow into a mighty woman of God. I'm sure she'll make the journey interesting and exciting!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shameless Promoting of Our Newest Soccer Fundraiser!

Yes, I'm shamelessly using my blog to solicit funds for the money pit we fondly refer to as "Travel Soccer". But, you're going to like this one!

How does a 22 oz Yankee Candle for $20 sound? Since they go for $24.37 in store with tax I'm thinking that's a GREAT deal! I must have orders and payment by November 30th. Let me know your favorite scents and I'll see if we have them....I will post an actual list as soon as we narrow down the choices to about 10. They will be holiday and popular scents, just so you have an idea.

And, as my own personal incentive I will enter everyone's name who buys one into a drawing and give away a FREE candle to a lucky winner! Woo-hoo!

Do I sound desperate? Just wait until we start selling the pies in December....oh, they are delicious!

Thinking About My Wedding Day(s)

I was really provoked when I read this scripture from Isaiah this morning....

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will You, my God, rejoice over me at Your appearing (Isa. 62:5).

I thought back to my own wedding day and how The Husband reacted to me walking down the aisle. It was beautiful....we tease him that he cried like a baby, but I felt so much love coming from him. I felt like he and I (and God) were the only ones in the church!

I wonder, when Jesus comes for me, His bride, will I be worth rejoicing over? Jesus thinks so. Sometimes I don't think so. When I am walking close to Him and obeying and praising Him for all He has done, then I feel worthy to be His bride. But, there are days when my Bible goes untouched and my temper flares. Those days, I'm too ashamed to put on the pure white wedding dress to meet my bridegroom.

Thankfully, He is the God of restoration! "This walk" is about falling down and letting Him pick me up. I do not want to stay down, not really. Sometimes it is comfortable to get in the fetal position and push everyone away. Then, I start to think what would a real bride do? I have to remind myself that there is a loving bridegroom waiting for me, to protect me and shower me with unconditional love. I am accepted. Even more than just "accepted"!

Wow! He rejoices over us!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Daylight Savings

Life has become rather unusual at our house since Daylight Savings. The little ones who used to have to be drug from their beds at 8:15 am get up at 6:30 now. Everyone is snuggled into bed and even I'm nearly asleep by 8:40 pm. It is actually very nice.

Our waking and sleeping now match the daylight! #1 and I don't have to squint through our screen door in the dark at 6:45 every morning trying to figure out "are those the bus lights?" coming down the street!

The only drawback is the darkness-induced coma I seem to find myself in at 6pm every night....smack in the middle of dinner, clean-up, helping with homework and conducting family devotions! Last night, I looked at the clock thinking it has got to be after 8pm and it was only 6:15!

I'm not sure I remember ever being so affected by it! I'm hoping I can stay awake through #2's soccer practice tomorrow night!

Monday, November 5, 2007

What I Simply Cannot Relate To...

This cracks me up when people (mostly my older family members) say this to me:

"Oh, did you email me? I only check my email like once a week or so."

Are they kidding?????

At some point over the last 2 years if I don't check my email every couple of hours I feel as if the sky may be falling and I won't even know!!! It has become my favorite form of communication because you can't get "stuck" on email when you're trying to cook dinner and help with the kid's homework like you can get "stuck" on the phone! There is never a "bad" time (too early or too late) to email someone. I can finish an entire conversation uninterrupted in an email.

It's a beautiful concept.

Our Weekend in Pictures

Here we are at Family Fun Night at our elementary school. We played a little book BINGO and ran the Dance, Dance Revolution game.

#2 climbing trees in our backyard.

This is the biggest leaf pile they ever had to jump in!

They played outside while GAS and I made 4 apple dumplings, an apple crisp, an apple cake, and 8 containers of apple sauce! Most of it made it into the freezer!

Clowning around with a little face paint

We celebrated #3's birthday early with my Dad and my-soon-to-be step-mom. We ended this wonderful weekend by sitting around a fire in our chimnea.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Hired Help

This adorable dishwasher wore a bathing suit all day today and begged to turn the hose on because, at 60 degrees, it was SO HOT outside! We argued about this every hour on the hour. She is a persistent one. I was tempted to give in to see the look on her face when the icy blast of water hit her (that would teach her!). But, then I remembered that she squeals with delight at being doused with cold water, so I stuck by my very firm NO. The child wore shorts to soccer this morning and I had to hide her flip flops. People stared at her and I could tell they were wondering if they should call child services because, obviously, the poor girl's mother doesn't know how to dress her properly! I had to keep telling them that cold weather just does not faze her when they asked where her jacket, hat, gloves and shoes were. I've become quite good at sounding convincing since I've had plenty of practice for the last 3 years of her life. So far, no one has reported us......

I hope she gets over this by menopause or she'll completely melt during those hot flashes!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We Are the Champions!

Warning: there is some serious mom bragging in this post.....

#2 and her team clinched the top spot today in their last regular season soccer game. We play a tournament in 2 weeks and indoor practice starts this Wednesday, so I guess you can say that we're hard core now.

I know this season has had its low moments along the way from try-outs to melt downs. And, to be honest (and, somewhat shallow) if they hadn't done so SLAMMING AWESOME this season we would be done with the whole travel soccer thing. I told you, I'm just being honest.....

The bottom line is, I'm hooked. I totally enjoy the games and #2 really enjoys playing. And, she's good. Finally, I feel like we are getting to know some of the families and we've bonded in our strange, soccer-you're-on-my-team-this-year-but-it's-every- girl-for-herself-at-try-outs-in-the-spring kind of way! We've also been praying about this and for now, we feel like it is okay to continue on. Carefully. Prayerfully. One season at a time.

On a disappointing note, our team always chants and makes a tunnel for the other team to run through ("2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate, blah, blah, blah...") and today the other team looked right at them (coaches included) and ignored them! I was stunned at their lack of sportsmanship because our girls ran through the other teams' tunnels all season long whether they won or lost. Our coach did a wonderful job of addressing that so the girls didn't feel as if they had done something wrong by forming their usual tunnel. Thankfully, the fact that they are the DIVISION CHAMPS didn't leave them lingering on anything negative! Woo-hoo!

I'm impossible. I know.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Popcorn is an Equalizer

Last night was the first night I actually removed my body from the back wall of our youth sanctuary at church and did something useful. I even talked to teens I did not know.

For some reason (mommy jeans, muffin top, gray hair) every time I have walked into our youth building I become acutely aware that I am OLD and that, sadly, intimidates the heck out of me! I know that seems so shallow since I'm constantly spouting....we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.....but, anyway.....The Husband is officially on youth staff so I find myself drawn up there on Wednesday nights.

Last night we had an amazing outreach called The Maze. A lot of kids were there and many brought friends. I walked into the youth building to do my thing (someone needs to keep the back wall warm) and I noticed that there was one lonely youth worker behind the refreshment counter so I jumped in and made bag after bag of popcorn. As I did, kids were coming up and talking to me and I started to wonder if perhaps I wasn't as invisible as I felt up there. I feared at one point that any word of encouragement would be met with eye rolling and "whatever", but it is just not true! Their eyes shine, they smile wide and as a worst case scenario, they seem awkwardly shy by the compliments and attention.

While I am still well aware of my limitations and AGE, I know God is working. My heart is softer towards this generation! I'd be proud to serve them popcorn any night of the week! I may just get off the wall again sometime soon.