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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bathtime shattered!

I usually reserve showers for when my youngest is asleep.  At 19-months old, she can get into way too much stuff to be left roaming about for five minutes, not to mention the 20 minute showers I loooove.  So, I had planned all day to take a shower during afternoon nap.  However, today we had a sweet friend over playing with the kids and I didn't think it appropriate to shower with non-family members around.  

Of course, Ava woke up before our friend left, so there I was...stuck between way-too-long-since-last-shower and Wednesday night church just an hour or so away!  I had only one option...we both got "neked" and took a bath together.  

I was in the middle of letting her play with the suds in my hair and Sammie runs in to say, "MOOOOOMM, GLASS BROKE!"  She says that Grandaddy "broke glass" in the kitchen and I needed to come right away.  (Nevermind how I got to the kitchen fully clothed, yet soaking wet, in record time.)

Not only is this a typical story about life in our house, this is the first story of Grandaddy on my blog....(I take care of his socks, too!)  

When my sister and I visited my grandparents in Blytheville, Arkansas growing up, Grandmother and Grandaddy would share a 7 oz "pony" beer with a pizza.  THAT was the extent of their imbibing.

Not until Grandmother died and he came to live with us did I learn that Grandaddy used to be a heavy, heavy drinker.  He worked hard.  Construction work.  Traveling construction work. Working a "dragline" -- which looks to me like a crane, but I guess there's a distinction somewhere.

Over these last three years, he's told a few stories. He told me that when he got married and my mother was born, they lived in a trailer.  (They lived in a trailer their entire lives actually.)  He said one night he came home drunk and passed out right inside the front door.  Grandmother left him there.  Didn't clean him up, help him up or get him in bed.  She said the next morning he ought to be ashamed of himself letting his baby girl see him act that way.  And, he was.  And, he never drank again.

UNTIL he came to live with us.  

He doesn't drink to excess, for sure.  But even if he did, he doesn't drive and I don't do well telling a 94-year old man what to do!   So, while I was bathing today, he got down his little Arkansas Razorbacks shot glass and accidentally dropped it on the floor.  THAT'S what interrupted my soothing, long-awaited bath.

I really do love my life.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Life Lessons from Popeye....really.

After five years of princesses, fairies and mermaids, my son (almost 3) has finally come into his own.  He does NOT like Sesame Street or Strawberry Shortcake.  He likes Spiderman and Popeye.  Yes, Popeye.  We found a fairly new Popeye movie (no smoking OR punching -- -that's how new) at the library several months ago and he's loved it and asked for it ever since.
On our hot date Friday night, Brian and I scoured (without interruption -- that's why we get to call it a "date") the $5 DVD bin at Walmart.  It really was quite romantic...I'd look at him and sigh holding up The Notebook as a possibility.  He'd grunt to himself and hold up movies like Saw III or Thin Red Line.  Reminded me of our blissful dating years (really it was more like weeks).

ANYWAY, we found something called "150 Animated Classics".  It has Betty Boop, Woody
 Woodpecker, tons of others, but to the point, 50....count 'em, FIFTY... Popeye cartoons. 

So, this past Saturday morning, Daddy fixed one-eyed pete's for everyone (I'll write about that another time) and we piled in Grandaddy's room (I'll DEFINITELY write about him many more times) to watch cartoons.  At 94, I've never seen anyone enjoy a good Tom and Jerry caper like he does.

I only got through about ten before all the chores called out to me, but here are some things I learned from Popeye, The Sailor Man:

1)  He's a man of few words, but lots of laughs (begin imitation now).
2) He protects Olive Oil unabashedly (though she always seems to be looking the other way).
3) He's a man with great patience. (He puts up with a lot from Bluto, before he lets him have it!)
4) He's a man who knows how to set boundaries.  (Though how many times must Bluto be shot with a cannon ball through the guts to learn to back off, for heavens sake!)
5) He always reaches for the Spinach before a really big fight.

So, I have two questions for you:  have you ever learned anything from a cartoon?  And, where do you get your spinach?

*apologies to any experienced bloggers: I haven't figured out all the formatting yet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Song for Every Season

You have to be around me a while to learn this:  I can come up with a song lyric for almost any situation in life.  When we fly kites, I bellow, "Let's go fly a kite.  Up to the highest heights!" from Mary Poppins.  When we take baths, it's "Rubber Duckie" or the line from that song in Singin' in the Rain, "Fit as a fiddle (changed to clean as a whistle) and ready for LOOOOOVE!"  

Sometimes the lyrics are a little more obscure, but you get the idea.

The kids love the playset out back and my five-year old loves the trapeze bar.  So, I sing, "We fly through the air with the greatest of ease.  Fly through the air on the flying trapeze."  

Yesterday, as Sam hangs upside down on the bar, she says to her two-year old brother, "Look Chase, we're the greatest of ease!"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Real Life Blog Header!

I am so excited about my new blog design.  Thanks to Sarah for getting it right on for us!  I don't know how to link things yet (Blogging for Dummies should be in the mail today), so I'll just type in her web address.

I sure don't feel like a superhero in my everyday life, but check out "about my title" and you'll see where I'm coming from.

Now, maybe I'll tell another person my blog address.  Just a time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

About My Title

This is a picture of the contents of my current "can't find a mate" sock sack. Do you have one?

I'm a stay at home mom of three babes (plus one 94-year old Grandad). I dread when people call and ask what I'm doing. Who wants to hear "laundry, dishes, diapers, floors" over and over and over again?

It's a struggle to find deep meaning in such things until I'm reminded of Col. 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward."

I like it when I can translate vague words like "whatever" to actually mean WHATEVER I do. Yes, even changing diapers and mating socks.

Take King David's mother or Moses' mother or Abraham Lincoln's mother. We know almost nothing about them and yet, they helped shaped the character of some incredible men. I'm shaping the character of some incredible people in God's kingdom. They NEED clean socks, right?

So, when a friend called in the midst of my sock routine, I finally answered, "I'm saving the world, one sock at a time." And, I believe it.

I try to remember that the smallest things are worth treasuring and are worthy of my best. Even all these unmatched socks.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ok, so perfection comes in all shapes and sizes.  I may not have the perfect blog design yet (it's coming!)  But I think I may have had the perfect day.  

Nope, the laundry didn't get finished.  (Well, it's clean and dry and folded...just not put away.)  I didn't exactly prepare three meals.  I gave permission for cereal fixin's for breakfast; errands around lunchtime turned into sandwiches from a deli; and so much fun in the sunshine turned into cottage cheese and sliced pears for supper while Daddy set up the croquet set outside.  I did empty the dishwasher once, but never reloaded it.  

I took the first step in getting a summer Bible study group together.  Returned books to the library.  Took my Grandad for bloodwork (don't ask).  Read a couple pages of a great book.  Oh, and I even paid the bills.  Like a page out of the 50s, I even had a sweet friend chat with me on the front porch watching our kids play in the front yard while the sun went down.

I don't think I put away one toy.  All day. (That may be a first.)

Here's the thing:  I don't feel bad about the unfinished laundry, messy kitchen or the dozens, perhaps, hundreds, of toys strewn all over the floor.  I got to spend time with my Grandad, swing my kids on the swingset. No one needed discipline for this one precious day.  Nothing spectacular.   But darn near perfect.

Oh....and for the record:  I have five unmatched socks from today's laundry alone.

Life is good.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quotes That Change My Heart

I read.  I used to read a lot.  Quit reading (except parenting books) when Baby #1 was born over five years ago.  Started again about six months ago.  I LOVE TO READ!  So, you'll find that some phrases stick with me...and maybe I won't repeat them over and over again in person if I can spell them out for you here.  So, here's the first post of many quotes, I'm sure.
This one touched me as a stay at home mom.  (Yes, I know I'm supposed to write SAHM, but I'm just not THERE yet!)  How many times have I said to myself over the past five years, "Aren't I supposed to be doing something ELSE?"  Referring, of course, to the endless diapers and dishes and revolving door between kitchen, laundry room and changing table.

Check out what Gary Thomas explains in the book Sacred Marriage.

I remember my brother asking me a few questions about what marriage was like.  I thought for a moment and said, "If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there's no question -- stay single.  Marriage takes a lot of time. But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can't imagine any better thing to do than to get married.  Being married forces you to face some character issues you'd never have to face otherwise."

Jesus, of course, was celibate his entire life, so it's somewhat ironic to suggest that marriage is the preferred route to becoming more like him.  But Jesus did live in a family and as Betsy Ricucci points out, that's all he had done at the time the Father proclaimed, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).  "What had Jesus done to receive such praise?  Nothing but live in his own home, honoring his parents and serving his father's carpentry business.  Apparently that was enough to please God."*

Does that strike anyone else like it struck me?  He was "doing His thing."  Every day.  Eating, praying, bathing, carving wood, saying "Hi, Mom," and "Yes, Dad." And God was pleased.  Not just pleased.  WELL pleased.

Lord, will you be pleased with my day tomorrow?  I'm going to feed everyone three or four times, clean the kitchen three or four times, change a few diapers, hopefully do a load of laundry, go through the mail, so I don't miss any bills and will try to remember to say, "Hi, Honey" to my honey.  

Please be pleased.  

*Used by grace, since I didn't ask permission.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Only Want Perfection

Right now, I'm the only one reading my blog.  Why?  Because I don't like my page and I haven't told anyone the address.  I want more bells and whistles.  I want menu bars and rotating photos. I've previewed just about every template possible.  And, I don't know how to download the cool ones from other free sites.  I'd also like to gather up some gorgeous photos of myself to post, too.  (Kidding.)

Should I await perfection or throw myself out there for all (who?) to judge my technological ignorance?