Monthly Archives: November 2009

Memories and Traditions

Way back in December of 2004 Jonathan and I were in between jobs, poor, and struggling to sell our home in Middle Georgia – yes, basically just like we are now, only we were also childless.  That Thanksgiving we had driven to eastern Canada to meet my new nephew (Pigeon), so we were to be home, alone, at Christmas.  Our new pastor and his wife, whom we had known about six months, invited us to spend Christmas with them at her parents’ home.  When we left that celebration we felt like we’d spent it with family.

Two years later Rob and Sherri no longer lived in West Central Georgia.  We had sold our house in Middle Georgia and moved here permanently and we were grieving a miscarriage after years of infertility.  Once again an invitation to celebrate a holiday with the Wilkerson/Hightowers came at the perfect time.  We spent the full weekend with Rob and Sherri and came home feeling encouraged and invigorated.  Two days later we found out we were pregnant with our mackerdoodle.

It was fitting, therefore, that our mackerdoodle would have her first Thanksgiving with the Wilkerson/Hightowers the next year.  It was a little rough on her but it was like introducing her to another branch of the family and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  Six weeks later Sherri’s daddy drove us to the Atlanta airport so that we could introduce our long awaited treasure to her grandparents.

This year we continued the tradition by bringing our cheesedoodle to celebrate his first US Thanksgiving with the Wilkerson/Hightowers.  He was a hit – of course – and we were blessed and encouraged – yet again.

We’ve been with the Wilkersons/Hightowers the first time they met Faith’s boyfriend Cecil.  We were a part of the first Thanksgiving they were reconciled with Rob’s parents after years of being estranged.  This year we were delighted to learn that Faith and Cecil are engaged, and I hope that in the future we’ll be able to watch their family grow.  I hope that we can continue the tradition of celebrating holidays with these wonderful folks who have become like family to us.


Snatching A Few Moments

My life right now runs full out non-stop from roughly 6:30 in the morning when my Cheesedoodle wakes up until 11:30 in the evening when I have welcomed home my husband and heard about his shift at work.  I feel like I’m always behind, and I just have to choose the things that get left undone.  Somethings choose for me. If I don’t cook, we can’t feed ourselves or the mackerdoodle.   If I don’t do dishes, we can’t feed ourselves or the mackerdoodle.  If I don’t do laundry we can’t dress ourselves or mac n cheese.  These are the very fundamental Proverbs 31 requirements and they are always at the top of my priority list.  But some other things are a little fuzzier.  How long can I let the toilet go unscrubbed before I’m just being disgusting?  When do I answer the phone and chat with family or long distance friends?  Do I play outside with my toddler (a good healthy thing) or stay inside and bake bread (a good healthy thing)?

As you’ve noticed, the blog has fallen to the bottom of the to-do list, and even that is a difficult decision.  I find myself using my blog archives to remember events in my children’s lives, which means I want to continue making my blog a priority, if for nothing else than to help me document my children’s young years.

So right now I have four different drafts in my folder with titles ranging from “Do all by self” to “But to whom are we thankful?  A thought on Thanksgiving.”  but the one that is being published is the only one I have time to finish:  the post about how I don’t have time to post.  I suppose that in itself is a documentation of my life right now.


Hot Spots

A hot spot is defined as  “an area, when left unattended will gradually take over.   If left unattended, the hot spot will grow and take over the whole room as well as making the house look awful. When you walk into a room, the hot spot is the first thing you see.  The rest of the family see this as a place to put things when they do not want to put them where they belong.” (Fly Lady)

In effect every flat surface in my house is a hot spot.  Things just get stuck places and that becomes their home.  Well this week I decided to tackle the most obvious hot spots in my house:

1.  My computer desk in the T.V. room:

Usually looks some version of this:

Here it is today:

 

2.  My pass through window to my kitchen was home to a basket full of junk:

But now it looks like this:

3.  The top of the TV cabinet had collected all manner of things.  I don’t have a picture of the before, but here is the after (please ignore the dust):

And since beginning this post, the pass through has acquired a baby monitor and the computer desk has grown a fully developed dirty mug.  The challenge isn’t getting them to this stage, it’s getting them to stay that way.


Please Don’t Enter This Giveaway

HP TouchSmart 600 Giveaway

. . . because I *really* want it all for myself.


Mommy Moments

In the midst of the craziness that is my life right now, there are some gems of moments that I just want to freeze to preserve forever.  I keep thinking “Oh I need to blog that.” and then I run out of time.  So here are the moments I can still remember:

While reading a book about a family getting a new baby, my Mackerdoodle reached over, patted my tummy and said “Need more babies.”  I laughed and asked her if she was saying that our family needed more babies.  She nodded and repeated herself: “Need more babies.”  When I was telling Jonathan about this story the next day, he asked her how many new babies we needed.  She answered, “Um.  Three.”  Jonathan  asked, hopefully, “Another baby, so there are three in the family?”  She shook her head emphatically.  “No.  Three MORE babies.”  Her daddy put both hands on his head and said “Oh I don’t know about that little girl.”

She has also added the phrase “I don’t know” to her vocabulary.  She sounds just like Lucy in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which she has never seen.  My favorite “I don’t know” moment was on a walk one day.  She was talking about the leaves and the acorns and the squirrels and the dogs, when she came out with “Baby Budder have bwoo eyes?”  I responded with “Yes he does.  Where did that come from?”  She looked at me and said “I don’t know. “

The Cheesedoodle, that aforementioned “baby budder” is also developing at a rapid pace.  He is eating rice cereal with a little pureed sweet potato mixed with it.  He is very enthusiastic about this expanse in his diet.  He is also much more active than his sister was.  He has figured out how to climb out of his Bumbo chair, how to take apart his tripod toy, and how to grab my face and kiss it (open mouthed, laughing kisses.  The best kind.)  Sunday afternoon, while he was busy trying to climb out of his car seat – and just about succeeding – Jonathan looked at me in all seriousness and said, “You know all those stories about me as a little boy that you thought were so cute?  Well, you’re about to get more cuteness than you can handle.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I can hardly wait.  Especially if I end up with three MORE babies in the mix.  Who knows what insanity my life could hold.  :-)


Tell Me: Why Do I Do These Things?

Way back before I had children, I LOVED to help throw a party.  I loved doing tablescapes, and decorations and centerpieces and menu planning.  I was childless, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to be tying rafia on glass bottles at 1 in the morning, or driving to a WalMart at midnight to pick up supplies.  One time I drove to Macon at 11:00 pm to pick up turkey breasts.  It was all part of the adventure, and when things turned out well, I always forgot the late night shopping runs, and instead remembered the pretty party.

Well, as you can imagine, I haven’t hosted an event in several years but when my friend Danielle got pregnant I just so desperately wanted to be a part of her baby shower.  I didn’t volunteer to do the whole event.  I didn’t offer to make individualized corsages or hand painted linens.  I said I’d do the games and, because Tera, our cake queen, moved to Wisconsin, I said I’d do the cake.

Now I didn’t volunteer an extreme “ace  of cakes” or “food network challenge” cake.  The cake was supposed to be an umbrella, baked in a round mixing bowl with a hook coming from the center.  Simple, easy, cute.  I even bought some little toys with which to decorate – I wasn’t about to venture into fondant sculpting or anything crazy.  I thought I was being realistic.

Friday afternoon I mixed up the white cake mix – easy peasie – and died it pink with food coloring (baby girl needs a pink cake) and then thought “Oh.  How cute would a pink and chocolate marble cake be?”  So I mixed up a batch of chocolate cake, and poured the two batters into the mixing bowl.

I baked it

I let it cool completely.

I inverted the bowl over a cooling rack.

The cake came out in pieces, split along the marbling.   AAAAAH.

After examining the cake, I cut it into four slightly lopsided blocks, hoping to make them look like building blocks, but to make a hemisphere into cubes removes a lot of rounded cake.  It wasn’t going to be enough.  So at 11 that night, when Jonathan got home from work, I was mixing up another pink cake to have enough cake.

Saturday morning I awoke to find my second cake had collapsed in the center while cooling, leaving a crater in the center of it.  Jonathan asked what I was going to do.  I answered, “Stick this baby doll in the center, cover it in fondant and call it a bassinet.  It’s all I can do.”

He gave me “the look” and said, “Go buy a cake.”

Cake choices are limited five hours before an event, so I went with the only cakes I could find that had pink icing on them.  I had the lady at Publix pipe “Welcome” on one and “Baby Catudal” on the other.  My brief cake making foray was over.  I had admitted defeat.  But the experience was to deal one final blow.

Loading the van for the shower, I made the ridiculous decision to stack the cakes (in their plastic domes) on top of one another.  Turning the final corner of the trip to the shower, the “Baby Catudal” cake slid into the door and tipped on its side.   We had two cakes that read, “Welcome Bahv squish”.  I must admit, I responded in thinly veiled rage at my own stupidity.

In the end, I scraped the worst off, and threw the toys I bought to decorate the first umbrella cake onto the store bought wreck.  I put the nicely preserved “Welcome” cake up on a cake stand and nestled the smushed cake in its shadow.  Everyone, including Danielle, said the cake was cute, and everyone who heard the story said, “Oh, I hear a blog post!”

So, if you want a cake I’m not your gal, but if you want a spectacular failure documented in an entertaining way by all means give me a call.


Theology With Tread

One of the primary tenets to which Jonathan and I hold is the sovereignty of God in all things.  It is a foundational doctrine upon which a great many others stand.  Ask us about our view of salvation and we’d say “Well, it all begins with the sovereignty of God.”  Ask us about our view of the continuity of scripture and we’d say “Well, it all begins with the sovereignty of God.”  You get the idea.  We believe that God is absolutely in control all the time and in all things, from the garden to the final judgment.  We believe it.

But sometimes it’s really hard to act like we believe it.

Our house listing expired Saturday.  The market here in our corner of the world has slowed – almost stopped – lately because of a number of local factors.  Our Realtor advises that we wait out the market.  This wasn’t our plan.

Jonathan continues to work the closing shift at Chick-Fil-A, making our budget an experiment in deficit financing.  This wasn’t our plan.

Our property taxes rose 40% this year.  This put our escrow account in the red, causing our mortgage payment to rise significantly beginning December 1st.  This wasn’t our plan.

It’s at times like this that we could forget that we believe God is sovereign.  In the midst of this we could be tempted to look for the “magic button of God’s will” : the magic prayer, the magic event, the magic emotional breakthrough that will “release” God to sell our house.  But God doesn’t work that way.  God isn’t bound by anything we do or say or feel.  He has mapped out all things for His glory and that means He has appointed everything from the worldwide economic recession, to the individuals who have looked, or not looked, at our unique home, and He’s done it for a purpose.

When our life feels so purposeless, it’s very difficult to believe in a purposeful and sovereign God.  During our miscarriage we grieved and hurt and suffered, but we could say that the Lord chose to end the pregnancy.  It was a difficult thing, but it seemed like God was active in it.  In this period of “treading water” it’s easy to feel like God’s forgotten us, or circumstances have caught Him off guard and he’s regrouping.  It feels like the sovereign God of the universe, the Lord of hosts, has put us on hold while he tends to other things.

The truth, however, is very different.  Despite our income being cut in more than half for the last three months, we remain current on all of our bills because of surprise (and in one case mysterious – thank you, if you were the cause of that) provision.  An active, sovereign God has provided for us in awesome (and humbling) ways.  We have had no emergencies or catastrophes because an active and sovereign God has been protecting us.  We love our church family and praise the Lord that we don’t have to walk this alone.

It is a challenge to remember what is true when we don’t feel that truth, but we’re trying to remember that while this isn’t *our* plan, it is God’s plan, and it is being done on purpose for His glory and our sanctification.  It’s times like this when our theology has to be so much more than theoretical.  This is where the rubber of our theology meets the road of life.


How Quickly We Forget

I remember 20 years ago.  I was 15, in the tenth grade and a Cold War child.  The Iron Curtain had existed for my entire life.  The USSR was that ominous lump on the map that straddled Europe and Asia like a malignant tumor.

In an effort one evening to avoid doing my homework, I turned on the old T.V. in our spare bedroom, and saw that both channels (yes, it only received two channels) were covering the same event.  Men and women from age 16 to 60, armed with pick axes and sledge hammers and crowbars were knocking apart the Berlin wall.  I watched as West Berliners reached down to help East Berliners climb the portions of the wall not yet dismantled; East Berliners stood in masses where only weeks before they would have been shot on sight.  Soldiers watched, impotently guarding a suddenly obsolete border.

I remember having two almost simultaneous thoughts as I watched the events unfold on the 12 inch screen.  The second thought was that the world I had always known was disappearing and something new and unknown was being built.  The first was that when my children asked me where I was when the  Berlin wall fell, I would have to tell them I was skipping my homework.

The Big Picture has a series of pictures commemorating the 20th anniversary of the wall falling.  As I looked through them (especially 12 – 15 which fade between then and now) I remembered thinking I would never forget that moment, and I remembered how quickly I forgot.


Your Opinion, Please

Well, my glasses arrived from Zenni optical.  I purchased two $8 pairs to give me a back up pair.  I’ve always wanted a back up pair, but I’ve never been able to afford one.  I’ve also been scared to pick up a really fun pair of glasses, because I was scared they wouldn’t work for everything, or I’d get really tired of wearing them.  At eight dollars (and flat shipping – you pay the same for shipping four pairs as one) for a complete set of glasses, I could afford to order two pairs and still spent a fraction of what I would have spent anywhere else.

So the glasses are here, and I am in the rare position of choosing which pair of glasses will be my regular pair and which will be my back up.

So what do you think?  Tell me which pair you like the best (and ignore the unwashed hair and messy cabinet).

classic

classic

fun and funky

fun and funky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mad Skills and New Independance

When my sister and her family were visiting, one of the big treats my mackerdoodle received was getting to take baths with her female cousins.  Playing in the bath is fun, but playing in the bath with a slightly older cousin who can do cool things like get in and out of the tub by herself is downright inspiring!  The mackerdoodle has been talking about it ever since.  When I put her in the tub she says, “Beffa (her name for her youngest cousin “Bess”) do byself.”  When I take her out of the tub she says, “Beffa do byself.”  Sometimes I find her in the bathroom during the day trying to do a dry run.

Tuesday evening she dragged her little stool into the bathroom and managed, in very slow motion and under my constant supervision, to get herself into the tub.  She was very proud of herself and talked about it all evening, but Wednesday she didn’t care to repeat the feat.  I put her in the tub Wednesday evening and left her to play while I changed the Cheesedoodle into his pajamas in the next room.  I could hear the happy sounds of splashing and chattering assuring me that she was safe and content.  Then, as I was fighting the cheesedoodle to button the legs of his sleeper (he thinks it’s a game and keeps pulling his legs up and giggling) I heard the distinct “splat, splat, splat” sounds of small, wet feet on hardwood.  I turned from the changing table and saw a dripping, smiling, naked – and still dirty – toddler.

She said “Beffa do byself.  Mya (her name for herself) do byself.  I all done.”


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