Posted: April 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
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i really enjoy watching my punks play with each other. i think it is one of the most absolutely sweetest things about being a mommy. earlier today the boys were in the backyard with gumbo. rock star had gotten dressed and cornbread was in a spiderman t-shirt and a diaper and they were playing their version of baseball. not only was it just super cute to watch them but their conversation with each other was really sweet too. i love the way that rock star looks out for and teaches his little brother. i am truly blessed, my punks love each other and don’t mind showing that love. don’t get me wrong, they have their not so nice moments too. but, for the time being the good outweighs the bad. i pray it continues to be this way!

i wish i was one of those people who could remember every single thing that they have ever seen or heard. and i wish i was able to recall that information whenever i wanted. it’s very sad when i realize that i have forgotten so much about my punks; what they looked like when they were little, what they sounded like, all the cute little things they said….i’m excited about all the things we will get to do as they continue to grow and the way our relationship will change to that of friends and not so much parent/child. but it is very bittersweet to have to leave behind all those sweet, sweet times when all they wanted to do was be with me and wrap their little hands around my neck and give sweet baby kisses.

pilate

Posted: April 1, 2013 in thoughts
Tags: , ,

yesterday was easter. lee is on nights now so he worked saturday, came home and slept for an hour, got up, went to church, tried to coax a good picture out of the punks, and then went back to bed for another 4 hours before having to go back to work. i suppose it was a good day. there were no egg hunts or big meals with extended family for us. lee slept, the punks played, i put away laundry, it rained, we ate easter candy, and skyped with one of our most favorite families in the whole wide world. after the boys went to bed the girls and i watched the passion of the christ. i haven’t seen it since it came out in the theatre in 2004 and it was the first time for both of the girls. there was some covering of the eyes with blankets and “tell me when it’s over, mommy!” moments but for the most part they watched all of it. we had some good discussions about some of the themes in the movie. sassafras was a little creeped out by the satan figure. big love was a mess of tears by the time the movie was over. neither one of them really wanted to talk about it after it was over, but both wanted to sleep in my room!

the first time i watched the movie i was pregnant with sassafras. i found myself really identifying with mary and i was a complete, hysterical, blubbering mess throughout the entire film. i still identify with mary most of the time. the scene where jesus is carrying his cross and stumbles and looks through the archway and sees his mother and she flashes back to him as a boy falling down and skinning his knee, and then she runs to him and says “i’m here, i’m here” dear god, that wrenches my gut and makes my heart-break into a million pieces. even now i’m crying. however, last night i found myself thinking and focusing on pilate. i have never really given more than a passing thought to the man. in my mind, he was just some roman who was playing his role in god’s story. but, last night it struck me how much like pilate i am. i think pilate was a fair, decent man who tried to do the right thing. he didn’t want to kill jesus, he didn’t even want to have to make that decision. i think he knew that jesus was innocent and there was no reason for him to die. i think he knew what the right thing to do was. but, he could not do it, for whatever reason. maybe he was afraid the jews would revolt, maybe he was afraid caesar would kill him, maybe he wanted to please the masses,  maybe he felt like he had no other choice. i don’t know why he didn’t stand his ground and stop something he thought was wrong from happening. (actually, i do know why. god had ordained before time began that jesus would have to die and there was nothing pilate or anybody else could do to stop it.)

i think i am a good, decent person who tries to do the right thing. i have never been in a place where someone’s very life is in my hands and one word from me means life or death. i don’t have authority over large numbers of people. i am not a part of a ruling party that oppresses another people. but, there i times that i KNOW what the right thing to do is, i KNOW what the right thing to say is, i KNOW that an injustice is happening, that lies are spoken and that evil is flourishing unchecked and yet i do nothing. i consciously make the choice to wash my hands of the situation and claim no responsibility.  maybe i’m afraid that people i know will revolt and attack me, maybe i’m afraid that i will offend someone, maybe i’m afraid that the masses will be angry and displeased with me, maybe i feel like i have no other choice, that it’s not my place to do or say something. i don’t always stand up and speak up for what is right and true and absolute.

i don’t know what happened to pilate. did he become a believer, did he forever question his decision to give the jews what they wanted, will i see him in heaven or is he condemned to hell for eternity? i don’t know if pilate ever had a hope for his future eternity. i don’t know if pilate regretted condemning the savior of the world or if he was able to forget about it as easily as he washed his hands that day. i do know that i question most of my decisions, i regret things i have said and done or NOT said and NOT done. and i know that there are some things that i have said, done, or have been a part of that i will never forget no matter what. BUT, i also know that i have a hope for my eternity. and that hope is possible because a roman official washed his hands of the life of a jewish man and allowed him to be murdered 2000 years ago. i know that no matter what i do, no matter what i say, that i cannot ever be worthy of that sacrifice because i am pilate. it is only that jewish man’s blood that makes me worthy.

today’s thoughts

Posted: March 16, 2012 in thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

i am so glad that life provides opportunities for me to find balance. i don’t know if it is that way for everyone or if the universe chooses to shine only on me but i am thankful that life is not overwhelmingly happy or sad. i am thankful that there is a place in life for peace, stillness, and contentment. i am currently experiencing one of those times. it is not always obvious to me when i am in a state of balance or contentment. it hit me today when i was sitting down to work on lesson plans for the girls. it’s a friday afternoon and we are at the austin cousin’s house for spring break. aunt b and uncle j had gone grocery shopping and i was here with all 8 punks. some were in the backyard playing and some were inside doing whatever it is that cousins do when they are together. it was in the brief quiet that i had the conscious thought, “my heart is full.” there was no fanfare, fireworks, or grand moment that preceded this thought. just the realization that no matter what happened to me financially, materially, or even physically i was content.

i think this is one of those thoughts, thoughts of contentment and peace, that we must grab tightly to and focus intently on before it vanishes in the face of the urgently unimportant activities of life. the last few weeks have been heartbreaking for me. i need more fingers than i have to count the number of people i know who have lost loved ones in the past couple of weeks. some of these people i was very close to and knew almost as well as my own family. some are still involved in my life. others i was close to at one point in life and keep up with now through facebook. still others are family members of people i know intimately and consider part of my ‘village’. regardless of the relationship, i have grieved with these friends in their loss. my heart has been so very heavy and broken. some of their loved ones lived long and full lives and were ready to go home. others were suffering and just wanted healing. and there were a few whose lives were so very brief that it seems unloving and so very unfair that they were taken away from us. there seems to have been little to make me feel contented or peaceful.

in my moment earlier today, i was reminded of mary and how scripture is very clear in pointing out that she pondered and treasured in her heart all the happenings that followed her son’s birth. i want to be like mary. i want to look at all the everyday, out of the ordinary, mundane, extra-special moments that God gives me. i want to be able to recognize those moments so that i can burn the images in my brain, remember the smell of the place that i’m in, record the sounds in my mind, and feel the emotion that those kinds of moments exude. i want to physically experience them so that in times of heartache, sadness, and pain, i can pull them out and focus on them. to use them to climb out of whatever pit of despair and hopelessness i may be in. to let the light of their simple joy and happiness permeate my soul and bring me to life again. i want to be able to recognize, and remember, the simple joy and beauty in the everyday, if-you-don’t-look-you’re-going-to-miss-them moments in life. that is my desire and prayer for myself. and for you my friends. i want the same for you.

**warning! this post is completely honest and real. i am not proud of these moments but this is a completely accurate description of where i was emotionally on this particular day. it’s ugly.**

thursday was one of those days. you know the kind i’m talking about because we have all had them. it was one of those days where i thought i had awakened in a good mood but by lunch time whatever good was in me had left. i don’t know why it left, it just did. maybe because i didn’t wake up early enough to get some “me” stuff done and get my day started before my punks got up. maybe because i was jealous of my husband who slept until noonish and got a whole 15 hours of sleep (i won’t mention that he had been up since 5:30 am tuesday, drove 8 hours home, worked a 12 hour night shift, and stayed at work until after lunch to take pictures of some big wig, came home played with the kids, then went grocery shopping with us–all without any sleep. because if i mention that, then i don’t really have a reason for being upset that he slept so late. and i just come off sounding like a bitter wife who wants her husband to do the same kind of stuff she has to do.) maybe it was because i was tired of doing school–all the planning, teaching, correcting, grading, dealing with attitude because they’d rather be playing with their brothers than learning how to multiply mixed numbers, the proper usage of the words ‘sit’ and ‘set’ or ‘raise’ and ‘rise’, or how to read a map key. whatever the reason, there was no good mood left in me by noon. i snapped at lee. i wished my punks would quit talking and not make any noise. honestly, i kept screaming in my head to myself “shut up, shut up, shut up, everybody just shut up! and go away!” the boys wanted to love on me and all i wanted was for them to go away and not touch me. shoot, i don’t think i even wanted them in my sight. it was an absolutely horrible day for me emotionally. i didn’t know why i was feeling this way or what had happened to bring out these kinds of negative emotions in me. i didn’t want anyone around, i didn’t want to look at anyone, didn’t want to speak civilly to anybody, and if i had to change one more poopy diaper i probably would have gone postal on whoever was closest!

to make all of this worse, the one non-ugly thought that kept trying to develop itself in my brain was this: “in everything give thanks.” i so very much wanted to rebel against the idea of giving thanks. i wanted to wallow in whatever ugliness i was mired down in. good grief, it has been one of the emotionally hardest weeks i have been through in a long time. i wanted to be ugly, i wanted to let some of the yuck i was dealing with come out of me and make other people feel the same way. but over and over it kept repeating itself, “in everything, give thanks. in ALL things, give thanks. in everything, GIVE THANKS…..” over and over and over it played through my head until i responded with a “that’s great but there’s not a lot to give thanks for right now. the world is full of hurt, darkness, unfairness, and ugliness and i can’t be thankful for that!”  then very slowly, i lost my mind. i began to realize that i was no longer in control of my thoughts. despite my best efforts, things for which i could be thankful began to drift through my thoughts.

i have a roof over my head

i have more food in my house than i could eat before it spoils

i have a husband who loves me and works so very hard to provide for our family

i have a husband who is willing to go grocery shopping with me and the punks, even though he hasn’t slept in 40 hours and would much rather go to sleep

i have a vehicle that can take me where ever i want to go. i don’t have to walk for hours to get to where i want to go

i have a soft bed on which to sleep

i have clean water to drink

i have more clothes that i DON’T wear than most people have TO wear

i have a family who loves me and forgives me, even when i’m ugly to them on purpose

i have 4 children. they are absolutely beautiful. they have the most precious spirits, they are kind, generous, loving, sweet to one another…

all 4 of my children are healthy. they are not sick. they are not fighting for their lives against some disease that wants to kill them. they do not have to endure painful, terrible treatments that will make them sick with the hopes that ultimately it will make them better. they can run and jump and play with their friends and eat whatever they want to and they don’t have to worry about where they go or if they will get sick somewhere or if they will be strong enough to just lie there and watch tv.

all 4 of my children are alive and living on this earth, under the same roof as their daddy and me. oh dear God! how that one thought made me feel so very guilty for all the ugliness i had directed towards them in my heart earlier that day. all of my punks are here, in the flesh, with me right now and all i could think about was just wanting them to go away, get out of my sight, and leave me alone.

it was, by far, not my best moment as a mother. heck, it wasn’t my best moment as a human!! thankfully, i serve a God who is so ready and faithful to forgive. to help heal a heart that is broken. a God who is strong enough to bear my burdens, my heartaches, my guilt. a God who is gentle enough to prod me along a path that leads me to Him, where i can lay down all my hurt, worries, guilt, and ugly. a God who insistently commands me to give it all to Him, even when i don’t want to. especially when i don’t want to. i am thankful that He is bigger than me. that He is stronger than me. that He is in control of this mean, nasty, hurtful, ugly, sinful world. i don’t have any clue why He allows those of us who love Him to go through the things we must endure here on earth. what i do know is that He loves me, He wants me to lean solely on Him, He will do what it takes to have my heart, and He is ready to forgive and drown me in His grace, mercy, and love when i am most in need of it. i was in need of all of that and more on thursday. and He was ever faithful to provide.

if you’re wondering–thursday did get better. as a family, we wasted the afternoon in costco and wal-mart. redbox was doing free rentals for the night so we got a movie for the family and one for lee and i to watch. we had supper at five guys (they have THE BEST fries in the world!!) we spent the rest of the night piled up on the couch together and watched Hugo. which appropriately enough, was just the right story for my heart that day. it was a beautiful ending to a very ugly day.

Posted: March 7, 2012 in thoughts

it has been awhile since i have posted anything on here. not because i haven’t wanted to, i have. there have been several times i’ve had things i’ve wanted to talk about or just get out of my head so i could try to get a handle on how i was feeling about an issue, topic, or subject but i never sat down and took the time to do it. sometimes it was because i was scared of what other people would think and how they might judge me based on how i feel, what i think, or whatever. other times it was because i knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if certain people read what i was writing they would judge it/me and would have a response and i did not want to hear and deal with whatever it was they were gonna say. sometimes i was just lazy and didn’t do it. whatever the reason, i haven’t posted and i have been missing it.

over the last year or so i have had a strong desire to record and preserve my family’s goings on. i keep a calendar that contains important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, appointments), when bills are due and how much is owed, paydays, what we are having for dinner, lee’s work schedule, trips that are planned, company that is coming, and all that kind of stuff. i also go back and write in things that happen that we didn’t plan–those unforeseen events that come out of nowhere and surprise you. it works well for me and at the end of the year i have a record of all the “physical” things that have effected my family. i’ve done this for several years now and have a collection of calendars i can look back on to see what we were doing and when but it tells me nothing about how my family was: what we were thinking about, how we reacted to events, what we talked about, how these things either brought us closer together or pulled us apart. i can tell you about our physical happenings but not about our emotional happenings. it’s the emotional happenings that have started to pull and tug at me in the last few months. i want to record those. i want to give them a voice and a life. i don’t really know why yet. i just know that there are some events in our lives that profoundly change us and i think they should be chronicled and recorded in such a way that they can be passed down and remembered, reflected upon, used for instruction, i don’t know. i do know that in the last several weeks, some things have happened in my life or the lives of people i am intimately connected with that have effected me to the extent that it calls for a change in my life and i have this strong desire to give a life and voice to the event, the emotions, the thoughts. as i am able to process these things i will be sharing about them. this will be the hardest part for me. i don’t share intimate thoughts or feelings; those things that leave me open and vulnerable at my core to the criticism and judgement of others, those things that could possibly change the image others have of me and that i have of myself. i just don’t do it. i never have. not to anyone.

as a treat after supper, i let the punks have an ice cream bar. i think it may have been a l-i-t-t-l-e too close to mr rock star’s bedtime though.

 

i absolutely love this kid!!!

you’ll have to forgive me…..we had a busy day around here yesterday so i did not get around to being on the computer, except for one skype call which was the highlight of my little family’s night, even if it was a little bittersweet. so here is the menu for this week.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5– shrimp and corn chowder, yeast rolls

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6– Balsamic and onion pot roast, asparagus, and green peas

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7– Sour cream and bacon crockpot chicken, egg noodles, broccoli, and maybe another veggie

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8– Summer corn, bacon, and potato chowder, green beans, and yeast rolls

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9– White chicken enchiladas and fruit salad

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10– Beef stuffed cabbage rolls and sauteed zucchini and tomatoes

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11– Lemon brown sugar chicken, brussel sprouts, and sauteed squash

this week i am also planning on making breakfast a couple of mornings. the punks have requested banana muffins, so i’ll be making them one day. i found a recipe for a lemon blueberry cake that i will probably make tuesday morning and a new cinnamon roll recipe (food of the gods!!) that i will probably make one morning when lee is off.  maybe friday, we’ll have to see. here’s to wishing you a great week full of love, laughter, and yumminess!

fab ab february

Posted: February 1, 2012 in what's happenin'
Tags: , ,

back in the day when i was living with my sister in austin, she sent me an invitation to join pinterest. wow! that is one website that i very quickly became addicted to. there is an absolute ton of fabulous stuff on there!! i have found several things on there that have gotten me excited about doing, creating, and changing things. one of those items is a routine called “fab ab february.” it involves sit-ups, push-ups, and planks.

since today is february 1, i started the fab ab february. big love joined me. the goal for me is to stick to this plan and do it everyday. if i happen to actually get fab abs, well that is just a bonus. i am looking for the high of starting something and seeing it through all the way to the bitter end!!

here’s the plan:

  1.  10 sit ups, 4 push ups, 10 second plank
  2. 15 sit ups, 5 push ups, 15 second plank
  3. 20 sit ups, 6 push ups, 20 second plank
  4. 25 sit ups, 6 push ups, 20 second plank
  5. rest
  6. 25, 7, 20 s
  7. 30, 7, 25 s
  8. 30, 8, 25 s
  9. 35, 9, 30 s
  10. 35, 9, 35 s
  11. 40, 10, 35 s
  12. rest
  13. 45, 10, 35 s
  14. 45, 11, 40 s
  15. 50, 12, 40 s
  16. 50, 15, 40 s
  17. 60, 15, 45 s
  18. 60, 15, 50 s
  19. rest
  20. 60, 18, 50 s
  21. 70, 18, 55 s
  22. 70, 20, 55 s
  23. 80, 20, 1 minute
  24. 80, 22, 1 minute
  25. 80, 22, 1 minute 15 second
  26. rest
  27. 90, 24, 1 minute 30 second
  28. 90, 25, 1 minute 45 second
  29. 100, 25, 2 minute

i got tired of typing sit ups, push ups, and second plank. plus, i know that only the brightest, smartest, most intelligent people read this blog so i figured y’all would be able to figure it out. like i said earlier, my primary purpose in doing this is to start something, stick with it for several weeks, and complete the task. secondly, if my abs improve (which they will have to because honestly, this will be the hardest month of their entire existence!!) that will just be lagniappe!!

so, happy february to all y’all and here’s to finishing things and hopefully, fab abs!!

i really like our apartment. it is one of the bigger (if not the biggest) places we have lived in. i like its location. within a 10 mile radius there are 2 krogers, 3 targets, 2 wal-marts, a huge mall, 50 bazillion restaurants, a sams, 2 hospitals, and so very, very much more. within walking distance is a fire station. the local police station is about 2 miles away. i like that. it makes me feel safe. that’s one of the things lee and i talked about before we moved in, how we were in a good spot in case something happened and we needed the cops or firemen. if my house ever catches on fire or is broken into i feel confident that help will come quickly.

in fact, the fire station is so close that every single time they go out on a call we hear them leave the station. it happens at least twice a week. sirens are a normal part of the noise landscape around here; fire trucks, ambulances, police cars…..after a while i have stopped paying attention to them, especially at night. they only hit my radar when they start to sound close. which they did last night.

the punks had been asleep for awhile when lee and i decided to go to bed; it was probably around 11:00. i laid in bed playing angry birds (i’m addicted!) for awhile and around 11:30 decided to turn off the game and go to sleep. i had entered that phase just between consciousness and another world when i heard sirens announcing that the firemen on duty that night were heading to the rescue of some poor soul. i said a prayer for the safety of whom ever may be involved and left it at that. it was probably around 12;30. then i realized that the sound was getting louder and not more distant like it normally does. i rolled over and mentioned that fact to lee who agreed.

as a side note, i have to mention that because the weather has been so nice lately we have turned off the ac/heat and open or close the windows as needed. last night the windows in the bedroom were open about 2 inches or so. that is why i heard the truck. at first i thought it was the tow truck making its nightly rounds. then i heard the walkie talkie voices and saw the red and blue lights. being the nosy curious person i am, i got out of bed and peeked out the blinds (we are on the third floor and you can see everything from our window!) right in front of our building was a huge engine truck and who knows how many firemen. i saw someone on the sidewalk point down towards the side of our building and two firemen headed that way.

well, by that time i had gotten on pants and was headed to the balcony. when i got there i didnt see the firemen. i didn’t see anything! at this point, lee is up and dressed and opens the front door. our across the way neighbor is standing in his open front door looking confused and we just kinda look at each other and exchange shoulder shrugs. then, a completely decked out fireman comes from up the back stairs and tells us that we need to exit the apartment and go downstairs away from the building. it was at this point that my “dorm mom” experience came in handy! i know how to get people out of a building. i went to the punkettes room to wake them up and they were dead to the world!! they got up but they were having a hard time trying to process the whole “put on pants, shoes, and your robe NOW!” thing. the boys were much easier! mr rock star got out of bed and lee got his slippers and a jacket on him and i grabbed cornbread. thankfully, he was in a pair of footy jammies so he was good to go. i took the boys and headed out of the apartment (i forgot to put on shoes!) and the punkettes were close behind. our neighbor was heading out too and offered to help mr rock star navigate the stairs (he was wearing his lightning mcqueen slippers and having some trouble!)

we got to the bottom of the stairs and there were all kinds of lights in the parking lot!! i counted 5 police cars, 1 engine, 1 fire chiefs truck, and another pick-up truck sized fire truck. and all of us were just hanging around while fully decked out firemen wandered around our building looking for something. after about 20-30 minutes the fire chief came around and told us we were free to go back inside. he even offered to let mr rock star check out the fire truck but mr rock star was just a tea-ni-ny bit overwhelmed with everything and would not budge from his place on the sidewalk. so we didn’t get the tour of a fire truck with 7 or 8 firemen on it. i think he’s going to regret that one day.

at around 1:15 we were back in the apartment and the punks were awake. big love was talking about how she couldn’t wait to write a letter to her best friend tristan and tell her all about it. and what a great story she had to tell her new friend from ballet. sassafrass was going on about what if….what if the fire men had to beat down our door? what if the firemen had had to rescue us  and we had to crawl out the window? you name it. finally around 2:00am they were all back in bed and snoring.

now, i am sure you are dying to know what it was that brought practically the entire emergency services of northwest harris county to our apartment. evidently, a smoke like substance was spotted coming from  our downstairs neighbors water heater closet, which is outside on the balcony. someone in the building next door saw it and called it in. yup, a smoke like substance made me and my punks stand around in our jammies outside in 49 degree weather for 30 minutes. but, i’m not complaining. within walking distance of our apartment there is a fire station. i like that. it makes me feel safe. if my house ever catches on fire, i know that help will come quickly.

howdy all!! i am toying with the idea of adding pictures to my sunday posts. if i did that, instead of posting our menu for the upcoming week i would post the previous weeks menu. opinions are appreciated!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29Sauteed veggies over whole wheat angel hair and spinach salad

MONDAY, JANUARY 30Romance pork chops, rotini, broccoli, and sauteed squash

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31Chicken and black bean burritos and refried beans

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1French toast, bacon, and fruit salad

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2Turkey and spinach lasagna roll-ups, salad, garlic bread

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3Fish and chips and coleslaw

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4Bbq chicken, rice, corn and asparagus. this was on the menu for last saturday, but we ended up having a lot of leftovers which needed to be eaten so this was bumped to this week.

 

so, that’s what we will be eating this week. lee is off for the week so he may pick up the kitchen duties one night. the punks don’t believe he can cook so he has decided to show them how wrong they are! i hope you have a great week with your family and that this week finds you eating well!!