Saturday, October 20

What Have We Done?!?

Evie and Sam love to spend their free time drawing on any scrap of paper they can find (those spiral-bound sketch pads are pretty much the best gift they can be given right now!) with crayons, colored pencils, or markers. Being the parent that is usually home when they are drawing, I have been given a rather large stack of some beautiful and very interesting art. Many StarWars pictures, several knights with shields and swords (and daggers and lances and arrows, oh my!), a whole myriad of monsters, castles, horses, birds, insects, cats, dogs, and let us not forget the self portraits. Yes, the pictures are wonderful, and I cherish them all.

And I thought I was doing a pretty good job of raising well-adjusted children. Until yesterday morning.

Evie was coloring at the table, and Sam came by to check on her progress. Normally, this small act would have started WWIII, but the whole morning had been surprisingly peaceful. I was at the sink doing dishes, so I could hear that they were talking, but I couldn't hear the conversations. I did catch pieces, thought, like 'ant' and 'shrew' and 'trail' and 'cat.' I thought maybe Evie was drawing the backyard or an area of the trail out back that does indeed have ants and those mole mounds. Oh, if only ...

She came up to me a little bit later, and said, 'Mom, I have a picture for you!'

'Oh, wow, Evie. That sure does have a lot of colors. Why don't you tell me about it!'

'Well, that's a shrew. The cats killed it and it's dead. And that's all the ants that are eating it. See their trail going back to their home?'

'Uh ... um ... Yeah, I see it. Uh, Evie, why does the shrew have a circle in the middle of it?'

I got the why-does-mom-take-so-long-to-figure-these-things-out look. 'Because that's where the cats ate the guts, Mom.'

'Oh. Well, where's the other foot, hon? Shrews have four feet, not three.'

Repeat of the above-mentioned look. 'Because the ants already took it to their home, Mom.'

'Oh. Well, why didn't the cats eat the whole shrew?'

'Because they caught a copperhead and ate it first so they weren't hungry anymore.'

'Oh, ok. Anything else?'

'Can I have a cookie?'

'Yeah, sure. Why not?'

Man, what kind of strange, strange children am I raising? At least her husband will thank me when she doesn't scream and jump on a chair if she sees a spider, mouse, or snake ...

Friday, October 19

In Retrospect ...

I was looking for some pictures to upload onto eBay this morning, and I accidentally opened a picture folder from spring of 2005. And then I decided to go through a bunch of old pictures, so I'm going to share some of my favorite kid memories with you.

Here, we were trying to get bluebonnet pictures of the kids. This was one of only two pictures we didn't delete, after about 45 minutes of taking pictures. And it's very typical, seeing how Sam is trying to kiss Evie, and Evie is eating a bluebonnet.

This is the oldest one of all the pictures, from April 2005. Look how cute they are!!!

Sam only ate about 20 tomatoes this afternoon at my dad's house. He loves to eat cherry tomatoes right out of the garden (to the point where he's just not allowed to pick tomatoes when they're in our garden. They never make it to the house, because he eats them all en rout). Late April 2005.

If ever a picture captured Evie being Evie, this is it. This was the wallpaper on my mom's computer for a long time. May 2005.

You know, little girls aren't supposed to wear firetruck underwear. They should be girly, and have cute pink or purple underwear. And they really should wear shirts. But sometimes, you just have to break all the rules, and go topless in firetruck underwear. We're all had days like that, haven't we? June 2005.

We were at my mom's for this one, and the kids had been playing in the sprinkler. And then Sam found a gecko and caught it, cause he's like the Steve Irwin of gecko, lizard, and skink catching. And then he put it on Evie, but she was just confused and wanted to play in the sprinkler some more. Poor Sam, he ended up with a sister who likes all the creepy-crawlies he catches!! June 2005.

Baby got back! I like big butts, and I cannot like. You other brothers can't deny ... I could keep going, but I won't. May 2005.

So, did you read in the paper or see on CNN about those college students at UT that got trapped in some caves in Austin and had to be rescued after being in there for 32 hours? Click here, and check out picture #5. (Don't worry, it's a safe site.)

I told him this morning thanks for not getting lost, because once they had been found, and I knew everyone was safe, I would have had to smack him in the head.

And here's something strange: I never realized how many nekkid pictures we've taken of Evie. Seriously, there were way too many pictures of that child when she had on no clothes!!

And don't suggest that I love her more than I love the older one. No, I don't. Really. She just photographs better. I love them both the same. Yes, I do. Stop suggesting things.

Thursday, October 18

In a Funk ...

Ever get into one of those? I know, I know, you're probably perfect, with no problems. :) I, however, am most certainly not perfect, and I'm having some issues.

For one thing, I tend to get a little more moody after my period, not before. Silly hormones. Also, I'm a little sad. I was four or five days late this month, and I really thought I was pregnant. Of course, I started thinking that a week before I should have gotten my period (yes, I knew that soon with David), so I had almost two weeks of trying not to be too excited. Except that I was really excited. And I cried when I realized I wasn't pregnant. John was bummed, too. Not as much as I was, but he was very sweet none the less.

Also, it's October. The second half of October. So, really, it shouldn't still be 95 degrees, right? That's the forecast for Austin this afternoon, and I'm getting a little cranky. I love summer, and I don't like to be cold, but is a nice day in the lower 80's too much to ask? Really, is it?? Come on, now!

Sometimes I think I should be doing more. I mean, I'm busy with the kids, and actually have more work than I can ever get done, but I feel like I'm not doing enough sometimes. I wish I had a small business I could run from home, preferably something web-based that I could do at night, or whenever I have a few spare minutes. I was really excited about this, but I'm just not good at sales, and hate talking to people about something I'm selling. I just feel strange doing it, regardless of how much I love my product. (And I do truly love this stuff. I feel that it's worth every penny! But I digress ...)

I would love a ministry based business. I would love to sell everything we have and move to southeast Asia or South America and be missionaries. I'd do that in a heartbeat. What am amazing experience that would be for the kids! I just get restless sometimes, and oddly enough, I get restless when I have busy spurts of insanity ... like the never ending week we wrapped up last week. When it comes to the fight or flight response, if none of us are in physical danger, I have a huge tendency toward flight!! When I get stressed, I want to get out of Dodge and go somewhere quieter, simpler, and farther away from people. My dream would be owning about 200 acres and being as self sustaining (and off the grid, lol!) as possible.

I can also feel my body freaking out about my diet lately. It has not been good. I think Sarah and I are going to detox together next week, and I'm looking forward to it. Kristie let me borrow her detox book, and it's a really big deal. It's a nine-day course, where you gradually add certain foods back into your diet. I've just been so tired and run down the last few weeks, and craving refined sugar and flour. I haven't felt like this in forever, and it's really getting to me. Actually, I think how I'm eating is mostly responsible for the funk I've been for the last few days.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. It's the verse that keeps me going some days, because man!, do I ever try to do everything in my own strength. Yeah, that always works out sooo well for me. :)

Wednesday, October 17

My Hands Hurt

I went over to Kristie's yesterday and helper her paint and hang paneling in her kitchen. Seeing how I am a wuss, my hands now hurt. Aww, poor me. :) I was at her house for about 4 1/2 hours, and had a wonderful time. The kids stayed here with John, and her kids amused themselves most of the time (when not chatting with and amusing us!), so we actually got to just chat and have girl talk ... which covered many topics, ranging from movies we've recently seen to politics to putting babies on a schedule. (We're all for it, by the way.)

I never did get that nap on Saturday, because I forgot I invited Kristie to drop her kids off while she went up to Home Depot for the above-mentioned products. This might pretty benign, but let me remind you that Kristie has 5 kids. So I had 8 kids under 11-years-old at my house, and honestly, I've hardly ever had so much fun. I love kids so much, and I pray that God blesses us with several more.

I had a great morning today. Well, I accidentally slept in and didn't get up until almost 6:45, but it was good other than that, because the rest of my family slept in, too. That never happens. In my devotionals, I've been spending a lot of time in Paul's epistles lately. I decided to go back and read the Gospels again, and started with Luke. (Why? I dunno. Why not?) What an amazing story. I think Luke is probably my favorite Gospel. Then I read Matthew 5 this morning over breakfast; we've moved our daily chapter out of Proverbs to the evenings. Our memory verse over the next few weeks will be the Beatitudes, for so many reasons. For one thing, they're beautiful! I love the way the words flow, and I just think it's wonderful poetry. Also, what a wonderful way to live!!

Read this, and just think about it for a while ...

Matthew 5:3-10
"Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Saturday, October 13

new recipe

Head over to my mangosteen blog and check out the new recipe I put up there, for a XanGo Power Smoothie. It's very yummy. :)

Home at Last!

Oh, my. Since last Tuesday, the kids and I have spent over 34 hours in the car. Over 34 hours in 11 days. That's waaaay too long. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

John's grandfather passed away late last Sunday, and his funeral was on Thursday. John's dad Jim rode back home with us Thursday afternoon and stayed with us that night. John worked Friday, so the kids and I drove Jim to Austin to meet John's half sister, Heather, at Whole Foods. Jim stayed with Heather Friday night, and had his flight back home this morning. It was an ... um ... interesting ... visit, as always.

We got our shopping done at Whole Foods, and I bought myself a treat: Pumpkin Ale! I never buy myself beer, mainly because I almost never drink beer. Especially since I quit smoking. I have nothing against it, I'm just an uber-lightweight and tend to fall asleep if I drink more than one ... or if I finish one too late in the evening. :) On the rare evening when I get a hankerin' for one, I just steal one of John's. But I love pumpkin, and I've seen this stuff every year, and I've always really wanted to try it. So I got wild and crazy and went ahead and bought some. But I was too tired to try it last night. Maybe this evening. We'll see. Hee hee. I'll report back.

All the kids came with us to the funeral; it was a short service at the Houston National Cemetery. Jim was given military honors (he served in WWII), and the service was beautiful. I have to brag on my kids for a second. They were amazing. Not that they're usually wild Indians when we're in public or anything (please not that I said usually), but they were above and beyond great at the service, and then at the family gathering we went to afterwards. My darling husband at I received several compliments on all three of the little dears, and we couldn't have been prouder.

And then came yesterday. I am so glad that none of the people who were at the service were around yesterday. By the time John got home, I wanted to lock myself in a closet and not come out until Christmas. Well, maybe Thanksgiving at the earliest. But not before. Even the baby was making me crazy!! I think it was just that yesterday, the stress of the last few weeks came crashing down on us all ... whatever it was, it wasn't fun! All the kids were in bed by 8, and I was asleep on the couch by 10. And I'm still tired and trying to catch up on sleep!!

So on that note, I'm off to take a quick nap while the baby is down for a while. I promise to post something marginally more interesting soon, once I figure out which way is up.

Saturday, October 6

Quick Update

Well, Dustin's funeral went well yesterday. I went with Sarah and Lyndsey, who flew in from New Orleans that morning to make it in time. There were at least 7 people who got up and spoke about Dustin, and there was a great slide show, and it was all very touching. Except ... the person who did the service was awful. And I feel bad for saying that. And heaven help us, but Lyndsey and I almost cracked up several times. Lyndsey kind of alternated from almost crying (y'know, the kind where you just have a few tears every few seconds that you dab at, but you're not really crying?) to shaking with laughter at something completely inappropriate the pastor would say. It was bad, guys.

We got out into the foyer afterwards, all three of us about to go our separate ways, and L and I were worried that Sarah would be upset with us. We didn't know if she had seen us desperately trying not to laugh or not. But it turned out that she agreed with us, so we didn't feel (quite so) bad.

All that to say that Dustin very obviously touched a lot of people's lives, and the lack of his presence will be deeply felt. He was a great, happy, fun, caring guy, and it was almost an honor to sit there yesterday and hear the stories about his from the people that were closest to him.

Then I picked the kids up, drove to San Antonio, watched John take his flight that he enjoyed except for the aerobatics that made his kind of sick all the way into last night, ate supper in San Marcos, drove straight to Starbucks for out Titus 2 meeting at 8, ran by HEB after, ran into Becky and Alex and chatted with them, and didn't get home until almost 11. So I didn't see my house from 6:30 yesterday morning until 11 last night.

And I'm getting ready to leave again in about half an hour. We're very excited to go to The Woodlands to visit Sherry and her new house, and we'll be leaving there around 9 tonight ... and then going to the never ending day at church tomorrow. And then driving to San Antonio again on Monday to visit Candi and the see the Pearls speak that evening. And not getting out of bed at all on Tuesday. :)

Please pray that I can get some rest, I really need it, and that the kids' amazing behavior would continue. They have absolutely blown me out of the water these last few days; I have just been so proud of them!!

Hopefully, then next time I post, I'll have something interesting to say, not just tired ramblings ... Maybe some new pics, who knows? :)

Thursday, October 4

So Tired!

We have been so busy lately. And it's not going to slow down anytime soon, either ...

On Tuesday, we drove to San Antonio. We went by the Antique Rose Emporium, a mall, Chili's, and then to the little airport where John was supposed to take his airplane ride. We got to the airport, and were able to see the plane land with the person who flew before John. Very neat plane, by the way. John got in, got his goggles and parachute on (just in case of emergency, you know!), was ready to go ... and the plane wouldn't start. The pilot thought it was the starter, and since the company is in San Antonio until Saturday, we're going down there again on Friday to give it another whirl.

But John is going to drive to San Antonio by himself, and we'll meet him over there, because I have a funeral to go to Friday morning. Dustin was a guy that I knew in junior high and high school, and we were never super close, but he was always very sweet to me. Lyndsey and I are going to go together, I think. The kids will be with my mom. I'm leaving right after the church service to pick the kids up and head to San Antonio, so I can watch John's ride and get lots of great pictures.

On Saturday, we'll be leaving about 6:45 to drive to The Woodlands to see Sherry and her new house. I think she just closed like a month ago, and we're all looking forward to the trip. We'll be there until 9-ish, so the kids will sleep when we drive home.

On Saturday, we have church and potluck afterwards, and then we have a baptism ceremony. I'm excited about it, because (among other reasons) the church hasn't had one since we started going.

Monday is a slow day, or as I am now calling it, The Day I Plan On Not Leaving Bed. :) Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are just days to run errands, do laundry, do school, cook, etc. And we'll probably take Mr McCormick a meal Wednesday, too. Then Thursday, I'm driving to Austin to run errands like SAM'S Club and Whole Foods, and having coffee or lunch with an old girlfriend.

Whew!! I'm tired just writing all of this. I think I need a nap. :)

Monday, October 1

My Website

Woohoo!! Look at me! I've got a website. Yeah, it's pretty simple for me to keep up, but I'm ok with that. I don't have enough hours in the day as it is, and I may end up with even less soon. I have no time for site maintenance.

Please go check it out, and let me know what you think. :)