I am so thankful that I have been blessed with the life that I lead. I have been given a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. I have found and followed my calling into a teaching career. I am also a business owner for fifteen years this coming April. I have a beautiful home and I drive a luxury vehicle. As a family, we attend and are involved in a growing church with effectual pastors. With all of that being said, when pain comes, I sometimes do not know or understand how I am to handle such things. I know with my head and with my heart to call upon my Lord, the Savior of my soul. I trust that He is in control of every situation. But what I don’t understand is how to be successful through the suffering, how to make changes in a situation that involve more than just me. I know that God is in control. I know he cares about my situations, both good and bad. And I will always praise Him through my storms. What I do not want to do is go on pretending that everything is always perfect. Things are not perfect. Life is not always easy, even when it is a good one.
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In our family we have certain “words” or “phrases” that we use that would not make sense to the random on-looker. I’m sure all families have a dynamic like this in some form or another. Either that or my family is just a little different-which might be the case.
We have a man staying in our guest bedroom for the time being and he is slowly being exposed to our family’s language. We have a 7 year-old and a 3 year-old who are not a bit shy, so they have conversations with him quite often.
A few nights ago, John and I and the kids were all back in one of the bedrooms near the room where this man is staying. John and I were scolding the 3 year-old for something and the 7 year-old told her that she was going to get a BAP. A BAP is a quick slap on the back of the head for doing something idiotic or without forethought that can lead to trouble.
Well, being told that she was going to get a BAP did not sit well with her. Since John and I were in the middle of scolding her, she decided her only ally was down the hall. She went stomping out of her room and marched right into the guest room and said, “I don’t want a BAP and brudder (brother) said that I’m going to get a BAP!’ I listened intently to see what his response would be. He very kindly said, “Well, if your mommy and daddy say that you need a bath, then you need to take a bath, O.K.?” I chuckled to myself, waiting for her to go into a full on explanation of what a BAP is, but she didn’t. She did not reveal one of our family codes. She cocked her head to the side as if to say, “That is the strangest thing I have ever heard” and she marched back to her bedroom and commenced to getting ready for bed.
Our secret is still safe. I guess.
I was thinking about Valentine’s Day and what it means. Of course the first thing I thought of was love. Which led me to think of the love chapter in the Bible, I Corinthians 13. But these two loves that are celebrated are vastly different.
The way love is celebrated on Valentines is actually a little more like lust, in my opinion. It is more about our selfish wants and expectations than it is about true love. First Corinthians 13 speaks of unconditional love. Valentine’s Day is a day to make your sweetheart feel special and feel loved. And I do think it is a fun holiday and a fun way to remind us to actually show someone how we feel. But what happens if someone messes up or forget that special someone? Is there forgiveness? is there unconditional love on the other side?
My love language is definitely gifts and my husband’s love language is not gifts and he really stinks at this. It is not unusual for me to be told on a special day like Valentine’s Day or Christmas that my gift is still on the way or that he didn’t get it ordered in time and then I am asked, “it doesn’t really matter if I don’t have a card does it?” And this year on Valentine’s Day it was not so different. And this time I even told him about 5 or 6 days ahead of time the store he can go to here in town and exactly what he could get me. Now, I do love my husband and I am not trying to make him look bad because he’s a wonderful man. But when this happens it does give me a test-am I still going to show him that I love him? Is my love unconditional or is it based on whether or not he loves me the way I think he should-especially on Valentine’s Day?
Unconditional love is a very challenging concept. It is not one of those things you can just talk about and assume that you’re going to be able to do it. It is very challenging to love someone despite their actions. I find this is true not only of my husband but even of my children. Not that I don’t love them when they do wrong, but shouldn’t love look a certain way? Does yelling at my children look like love? Does fighting with my spouse look like love? Does getting angry with someone when they don’t make the choice that you want them to make look like love? So this Valentine’s Day I propose that we all love unconditionally despite disappointment And heart ache. And if you didn’t get the box of chocolates that you wanted, go buy some yourself for heaven sake. That’s what I did.
****Just to let you all know-my fabulous husband came through for me. I just received (at 5:00p.m.) a gift bag from jake witzel Gifts and Interiors that contained two dozen fudge covered strawberries, a Vera Bradley Carry It All Wristlet and a jar of Fluffy Bunny Shea Butter body butter. He’s a keeper!
I unexpectedly received a new “toy” today! By some standards it would not be considered a toy. And, by other’s standards, it might not cause excitement. But, I was excited when my husband when to the hardware store for supplies on our remodel and he returned with a Black & Decker electric weed eater/edger called the GrassHog XP just for me. Maybe it’s because we are going to do yard work tomorrow on our massive backyard and I made the comment that I would like an electric weed eater as opposed to his gas-powered one that I can barely lift. None the less, I was still surprised!
I was so excited that I could not wait to use it. As soon as I finished the painting that I was working on, I took it out of the box and got busy. The wonderful thing about this is that tomorrow when we do our yard work, we will have a head start. I got the back yard completely edged. The cons to my adventure are that my pointer finger and thumb on my left hand are completely numb and have been this way for several hours. I guess this is from the vibration of the edger. I also endured an injury. Something, I am guessing a stick, rock, or pecan shell, flew up and struck me on the forehead above my left eye. It stung so badly and felt wet. I don’t really like blood, so I was a bit scared. Of course head wounds bleed worse than what the actual cut is sometimes. I have a small cut, tiny really, but it gave me a scare. I sure am glad my two year-old was there to be my nurse. I was at least offered some sympathy and a princess band-aid.
Despite the numb fingers and the blood, I am still excited about my new toy!
My children have been blessed with the gift of gab. They never stop talking unless they are asleep. Seriously. I’m a stay-at-home mom and sometimes I don’t want to stay at home. I need the voices to stop sometimes! My sister recently wrote a blog entitled “Time Out for your Mouth”. You can read it by clicking here. I definitely am needing one of these time-outs for my children.
My son Sam is 6 now. He started talking at 12 months. My darling daughter Devri is 2 years and 4 months old. I think she came out of the womb talking (or so it seems). She actually started talking a little later than her brother. Around 15 months. I loved it that Sam talked so early because when it was just the two of us, it was fun to see what would come out of his little mouth. He is such a sweet, kind-hearted kid. Devri’s personality is polar opposite of her brother’s. Don’t misunderstand, she can be absolutely precious and I love her dearly. However, Devri has already developed her “alpha woman” gene. “Do this, Mamma.” “Move, Brother.” “Go away, Mamma.” She is quite bossy. Yesterday Sam told her so and her response was, “I’m not bossy. I’m busy.” I actually like this. I think I will use this at some point in my life.
So, today the three of us drive to Odessa to go see our awesome, wonderful dentist, Dr. Joel Edwards. I highly recommend him and you can find his information here. We arrived to his office and they call Devri’s name and all three of us proceed to the back to the exam room area where Devri is weighed and measured. Devri begins to tell the hygenist all about her princess band-aid that is across her nose. (She fell down the cement steps at church last night. Owww!) The hygenist seems smitten with the conversation coming from this little two year-old with lopsided ponytails. She takes us into the exam room and tells us Dr. Edwards will be with us shortly. He arrived after a few minutes and for the next 20 minutes my two children became mute. Not one word. What? It was amazing. And a little strange. He is a wonderful dentist. Very gentle and the kids both responded to his requests while he examined them, but they would not speak. He gave them both stickers. Devri for being a great patient and Sam for wearing a Texas Longhorn football jersey. Another reason that I like him-he’s a Longhorn fan! Then he sent us on our merry way. We stepped out of his office and my serenity came to an end. Devri started singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” whilst Sam engaged me in deep conversation about sharks all while I am trying to find my way back to Big Spring. Somehow we made it. No one fell asleep on the way home. Darn.
Why, oh, why does teaching reading have to be so difficult? I know this is a rhetorical question, but, honestly, I don’t remember it being this hard when I learned to read! Ha, ha! I have many questions about teaching reading. Such, as:
- Why does my son look at me when he is reading? Are the words written on my forehead?
- Why does the same boy look at the first letter in a word and then proceed to guess what the word is-ex., the word “bad” is read “bbbbb-at”, “bat”. Noooooo, that is not the word.
- Why does he wait for me to sound out the word for him, when I know with certainty that he knows all the sounds of all the letters in the alphabet. (I think.)
These are just a few questions that I am trying to answer for myself. Really, I do NOT want you all to answer them for me. I know that teaching someone to read is not easy. I did it in a public school classroom for 7 years. But, thank God, the kindergarten teachers in public schools have self-inflicted goals to teach kindergarteners to read. This always made my job as a 1st grade teacher quite simple. Yet, now I have the burden of figuring out how they did it! Pray for me.
On a side note, he loves making words with his magnetic letters. He used three of his sight words and his name to make this sentence. I don’t think he knows that he made a sentence, but maybe he knows more than he wants me to know!
Sam has had a productive day today. We have completed Math, Phonics, Spelling, Handwriting and Reading. We are going to be doing our History lesson during Devri’s nap. Sam is excited and ready to learn, so I am anticipating a wonderful school year. The only area we seem to struggle with is handwriting. He doesn’t seem to notice the lines in which he is supposed to position his letters and this drives me crazy. I am hoping that as the days and weeks go by that this becomes a non-issue. It is the first day back!
I am excited about all of our new curriculum this year. We are attempting to provide Sam with a classical education at home. I am using the book, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise as a road map. They recommended several different Phonics curriculum. We chose to use Modern Curriculum Press Plaid Phonics and Explode the Code. For Spelling we are using A Spelling Workout. We are using Abeka Math and for History we will be using a book called History for Little Pilgrims from Christian Liberty Press.
We managed to complete Math and all of our Language Arts lessons between 9-12, with one 15 minute break. Now, all we left to do in the afternoon is our History lesson and we are going to be listening to some classical literature on the iPod. We shall see how it all goes!
So far on this first day of homeschool, this is what I have learned-
- Devri can paint her own fingernails.
- Devri can unscrew the cap to the nail polish remover.
- Devri can get up on the potty all by herself.
I have not written in quite a while-with fairly good reason, I must say. We bought a new home. This new home is requiring much of my attention. It is a sprawling 4700 square foot home that has not been updated in at least 30 years, some of the rooms even longer. I am going to begin posting pictures of our progress on the house. For now, I am going to post some before pictures so you can get an idea of what it looks like now and how busy we are going to be over the next few months. These pictures were taken with the previous owner’s belongings still intact. We are working on this house in increments. The first room we worked on was the master. We changed the wall color, ceiling color and the trim color. We also hung chair rail and crown molding-over 100 linear feet. We are currently working on the utility room. John is building a mudroom type of furniture piece that will be on the wall opposite of the washer and dryer. We painted a chalk board wall and he hung crown molding. We are about to lay tile in there as well. I will be posting updates to this project periodically. And to answer the question, “No, we have not moved in and no, we do not know when we will be moving in.” 🙂
I have not felt much like blogging lately. I am beginning to wonder if it is even something that I want to maintain. It is as if it is just another thing on my list of things to do instead of bringing me pleasure. Plus, it is somewhat defeating to know that I have been blogging for three months and I only have about seven people who subscribe to my blog. This includes my mom and dad and two sisters and my husband’s daughter. I am pretty sure that I know who the other two are, as well. So thank you, my loyal followers. I will blog again soon. I promise.
I learned recently at a leadership conference that I attended that I am an entrepreneurial leader. This means I am good at starting things up, but sometimes I need help with follow through! Hmmmm.