Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Let it go

Andrew bit the stew out of Julianna today. I mean he bit her HARD, right on the rear-end of all places. Naturally she screamed bloody murder and and cried heavily because he really hurt her. They had been playing along nicely all morning and then WHAM-O! He nailed her right out of the blue. He bit her so hard that it turned purple, for goodness sake.
Now this is where some of you may think that I am a terrible mother or whatever, but biting in this house (especially when you are 4 years old) is gonna get your heiny warmed. I gave him a stern reprimand about why we never-ever bite and then gave him a spanking. After a few minutes to think about it, he went in to his sister to tell her that he was sorry without my prompting.
But, because she was still nursing her stinging wound, she would have none of it and slammed the bedroom door in his face.
He walked out to find me and once he did he burst into tears. He was not angry, but genuinely hurt that she wouldn't accept his apologies. I told him that maybe she was having a hard time wanting to forgive him because he really hurt her. A few minutes after that, she came hobbling out only to see me holding a crying Andrew.
"Why is he crying?" she asked me.
"Because he hurt you and he wants to tell you that he is sorry, but you won't hear him" I told her.
"But, Momma, my bum is still hurting and that bruise is going to be there for a long time" she welled up again.
"Well, Julianna, what else do you want him to do?" I asked her. "He has already been punished, and he is trying to tell you that he is sorry, what is it going to take for you to forgive him?"
She sat and thought about it for a second as I watched different forms of torture playing out in her mind for her brother. I finally told her, "You know, Julianna, God wants you to forgive him. He can't take back what he did to you and the longer you withhold your forgiveness of him, the more you are going to be the one in sin." She accepted that and allowed her brother to apologize to her. They each hugged and moved on.
As I sat there, I was reminded of the times that God had to take me down that same path.
I have been on both sides of it, either as the offender who needs the release of being forgiven (don't we all?) or as the hurt one whose bruises will be there forever.
One thing that I know for sure, is that refusing to release the repentant offender winds up putting a wedge between you and God, and it is so not worth it.
God has this way of reminding us, when we harbor unforgiveness, just where we came from ourselves, along with all of the grace that we so desperately need on a daily basis. I don't mean condemnation, mind you, because that's the enemy's way of doing things, but rather, a gentle reminder that His only Son had to die for our sin just as much as He had to for the person who has hurt us.
I remember driving down the road one afternoon, deep in bitterness about a person who had hurt me so very badly. This person had asked me for my forgiveness, but the truth was, in my mind, this person hadn't paid for it enough to suit me. I ended up rehashing the facts with God: "But Father! Don't you remember when THIS happened?" "Or what about THAT?!"
As quickly as I can tell you, an image of this person's face on the body of Christ hanging on the cross flashed in my mind. "Was this enough payment for you, child?".... "Yes, of course, Father."
I broke that day. I released so much anger and hatred and bitterness. I cannot tell you the freedom that I felt when I finally let it go.
My prayer for you on this day, friend, is that if you are holding on tightly to a past hurt, and haven't allowed to love of God to flow through you for the offender, if you haven't truly released all of the dark and binding feelings toward that person, that you will just give it to God. Give it to Him so that you can relax and experience the fullness of His joy once again. You will be so glad that you did.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Precious Pups

Amanda, over at the LPM blog, asked us if we would share a picture or of our pets. I realized, to my horror, that I have never posted about our beloved girls on this blog!
First, let me tell you, I am a huge dog-lover. Cats...well, not so much. But I have always had an insane affection for our canine companions. They are just so, I don't know... loyal and sweet. I remember always trying to bring home strays when I was a little girl. No one could ever figure out why they would always come around our house, but I am guessing that it had something to do with hidden stash of food that I gave them. My Grama used to say "If you don't feed them, they will go away." Well that was all fine and good, but I didn't want them to go away, so I logically deduced the opposite to be true, and it worked. Imagine that. Oh, and just to be fair to you cat lovers out there, I fed them too.
This is my Millie:

This dog couldn't simply couldn't be any sweeter. She is just the most precious puppy who stays at my feet at all times. Unfortunately, she was bitten by none other than a neighborhood cat a few months ago, but she's doing fine now.
Did y'all know that cat bites have some funky bacteria in them? One more reason why I don't just adore them.
Anyway, Millie is already 5 years old so we decided to give her a crazy little sister about a year ago. Cuz, you know, we didn't have enough chaos in this house.
This is Oreo...and that is my flip-flop that she is sitting on if that gives you any indication as to her size. She may be small, but....well, let's just say, she ain't like her sister. She is as buck-wild as they come, but she has our hearts nonetheless.
We are an animal loving Crew around here. We have had everything for a pet in this house except for a cat. That isn't because I can't stand them (because truly, I love all animals alot, cats are just not my faves), it is only because Mark is deathly allergic. I mean, throat closing up kind of allergic. Not good.
Soooo what kind of lovies does your family have?

More Grocery Griping

HA! Apparently I am so NOT the only one! Check out this link given to me by my sweet friend Christa: Lot of Pokemon Cards That My Kids Tried To Sneak By Me
This is a funny one!

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Hate Grocery Shopping

Am I the only woman on the planet who detests grocery shopping? I put off this loathsome duty in the worst way when it comes time to stock back up. I mean, I am pulling out the powdered milk to drink while giving the kids crackers and ketchup for lunch before I finally will break and go do the dreaded deed. I don't know why in the world I hate it so much. I used to actually like it, but boy, those days are gone.
Perhaps it has something to do with how rude people will park their buggy right in the middle of an aisle as they leisurely peruse the canned peas for 10 solid minutes while blatently ignoring the fact that you are standing there, stuck, until they finally decide to move a few inches to the pasta, just to begin the scene all over again.
Or, hey, how about the associates who obviously hate every single person alive? May the Lord help you if you need something because He is your only hope in finding it, since they cannot be bothered with helping such a plebian as a customer.
But you want to know what my favorite part of the shopping experience is? It is the torture chamber otherwise referred to as the checkout line. You know the place, it's the one where you get hemmed up on all four sides with all of your children who are whining and fighting unmercifully.
It's the place where you are surrounded by candy and instant artery clogging beef jerky and easily breakable toys and chapstick while unable to move, for 30 miserable minutes as your ice cream (the only redeeming quality of the whole trip) creates a sticky puddle on the floor.
It's the place where, at the end of your time there, you are presented with one of said snooty associates telling you that you owe them some exorbitant amount of money as you realize that you didn't even get all that you really needed. No, I take that back. The best part of all is the hard cold fact that you will, indeed, be back here doing the whole thing over again next week.
Do I just have some terrible intolerance issue? Because I am feeling a bit like Bette Midler did in the Stepford Wives. I really do love to cook and take care of my family and Lord knows I love to eat, but girls, this part just reeks to me...and I didn't even mention the issue of running into the 50 million people that I know and feel obligated to chat with or hauling the whole lot into the house only to spend an hour putting it away....Ok, I will stop.
Talk to me here.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And they're off!

This morning I received my weekly mini e-newsletter for homeschoolers in my inbox. The topic was co-ops. This crew has never been a part of an "official" co-op, per-se, but we have been a part of something sort of like that, along with 50 gazillion extracurricular activities.
Which leads me nicely to my point....this year we are CHILLIN'. Well, "chillin" is probably a stretch, because we will most certainly be working hard, but we just won't be the key offenders in the fuel crisis anymore.
Not that fuel is my primary reason for the big chill (even though I am hardly able to afford the gas that it costs to run all over God's green earth), but rather the expense of mine and the Crew's energy. We were run so ragged last year that our schooling suffered. Our schedule was so packed out with "important" stuff, like gymnastics, ballet, MAFA (the co-op sort of thing), teaching at church, P.E. classes, Cub/Boy Scouts, Support Group field trips and play days....the list could go on and on....that we seriously have subjects that we didn't even come close to finishing (can anyone say Botany? :D).
Not to be defeated, I am fiercely guarding our time this year. I have had so many temptations to join this or help with that, but the little saying keeps going through my mind "saying yes to something outside (the home) means saying no to something inside". This rang so true for the Westie Crew last year!
I have set aside one day for us to do all of our stuff. We will be gone most of the day on that day, but this is just what works best for us. Getting it all knocked out in one fell swoop might keep the following conversation from happening every single day:
Me: Hurry up and get your Math done while I go and get your brother and sister ready to leave so that we won't be late...again!
Child: But MOOOOM! I need help!
Me: Darn! Just put it in the bag to take with us...maybe we can get to it while I pump gas...along with your Science, Reading and History. Just go brush your teeth so we are not LATE!
You get the picture. I look at my nice new school calendar, and it is pristine on Monday-Wednesday. Thursday's...our big-un...looks like a bomb exploded on each one. And then our Friday's neatly have a stray field trip or two (it helps to be the one in charge of the Support Group planning in this case! ;). I just hope it works out in practice the way it does in theory. I am not too worried about that though, because our best year ever really worked with a schedule similar to this one.
So, because I am all interested in what makes y'all tick; What kind of schedule is ideal for your family? Do you like the "cram it into one day" method or are you able to function with it being spread out?
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Food For Thought

Alright, I soooo said that I wasn't going to complain...and I won't. I will simply reiterate that it is blazing hot here! We went to the pool yesterday where I perched myself right there in the water with the kids. When we got home, however, it was seriously 87 degrees in this house...with the A.C. on....and not broken. The heat index outside was 110 - How heinous is that? Needless to say, I was NOT going to turn on the oven to cook supper, so I made the yummiest Summer fare.

It was Giada's Herb Stuffed Tomatoes...and lemme tell ya...THIS is the bomb, girls. Soooooooooo good and easy (just be sure if you actually do make this, to use 1 clove of chopped garlic in the mixture-VERY important...makes the dish...k, moving on...). I used the toaster oven for that and then made some Pasta Italiano from Rice-a-Roni on the stovetop. I also cut up some fresh honeydew and put it in the freezer so that it would be good and chilled when it was time to eat. The house didn't heat up any further and we ate well. I wish I would have taken a picture because it all looked so refreshinly Summery...but I wolfed it down too fast. Please do try this, though, you will not be sorry.

I am thinking I am going to head back to the pool today. I will probably swing by Sonic to grab some cherry limeades before we go though, because, you know, they're good. I really do love Summer with all its flavors. What's your favorite thing to eat/drink during these hot months?
Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Too Hot to Handle - Anything..

It is supposed to be 103 degrees here today...and it is every bit of that!!! I don't even want to know what the heat index is (what it feels like, as opposed to what it actually is...they go by that 'round here because of insane humidity level).
We had our Support Group Leader meeting today and it was stressful, just because I had to try and corral my Crew when so many other kids were acting rowdy. The behavior of those other kids was offending the people that run the school, but their moms didn't seem to care. Of course, my kids (mostly Andrew, who is only 4) couldn't understand why I wanted him to sit still and be quiet when all the other kids were causing trouble. They were so loud that you could hardly hear what the speakers were saying. People were turning around and staring and was miserable...and it lasted for two solid hours. Don'tcha just love when things like this happen?!
I came home, told all the kids to find a quiet place and to leave me alone for awhile...hee-hee! So you know what happens? One of them clogs the toilet and the water starts overflowing allllllllllllll over my bathroom floor.
Remind me how we are supposed to be having a meek and quiet spirit again...please! I was more like the pea-soup spewing crazy person that was on that weird movie...Ha-ha (by the way, this is maniacal laughter)..
Anywho...I am off to rest my aching head...I will post something positive tomorrow. ;)

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I am a firm believer that God is completely in control of all things. I know that He never gets blindsided or worried or anxious for anything....or He wouldn't tell us repeatedly not to be that way. So, I am completely trusting Him since it is not going to work out for my sister to come here now. For legal reasons, she cannot bring her baby across state lines without permission from his Dad, and he won't do that. She is still very much alone up there and she is still very much in need of our prayers.
Thank you all so much for your prayers. I praise God with all of my heart even when He tells me "No". Because I know that His decisions are the very best thing in the end.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Please Pray

Ok, y'all. I am just going to bare it all here, warts and all. Family stuff STINKS! It drains you and breaks your heart to say the least. Our crew is just fine, but my extended family has some awful things going on right now and I hate it.
I will not go into the rotten details because love protects, but I will just say that my sister and her sweet baby boy are coming to stay here from out of state for an indefinite amount of time.
I am calling out my prayer warriors here. If you think of us, please pray that the enemy would be bound in this situation and God's name be magnified and His presence tangibly felt. Also, that we would be able to make things work logistically in our already full house while maintaining a level of peace and harmony. Please pray for strength, wisdom and discernment for all involved as we work (and help guide) through some tough things.
I know God will make this work just because we have already seen His sovereign hand, but we still need coverage.