Thursday, January 31, 2008

Living with a 4 year old

Wanna know what's bad?
When you catch your 4 year old playing in the Vicks.
Wanna know what's worse?
When you are mid-way through your toothbrushing the next day and you realize what he actually did with the stuff.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Drug of Choice

Well, the Westie's have a nasty cold sweeping within our midst. Thankfully though, I have not harbored any of the germies in my body....yet.
This is so not my favorite season of the year. Other than this being the prime-time for sickness, I am truly a solar-powered gal. That means that all this winter gray can get really depressing if I don't take a few extra precautions.
The main thing that I do is go to a local healthfood store and get a really awesome mega multi-vitamin from the lady who owns the place. Do you want to know how this woman convinces me to spend moolah on her "perfect" product? Ok, I'll tell ya.
She is like 587 years old and she is still kicking....hard. Alright, she is really in her 90's, but I am serious, you would NE-VER know it. She is one of the most *driven* salespeople I have ever met. Usually that gets on my nerves, but I felt so bad when I finally went to her last year, that I was willing to deal with it.
I have come to find out that her drive is actually passion because this vitamin really has made me feel better. To put it further to the test, I have been without it for almost 2 weeks now and I am really feeling sluggish. So I am heading to purchase my fix tomorrow.
Now, who is willing to do my laundry while I wait for it to work its way back through my system? I need help. It's bad. And I am sinking. Sinking without socks, no less. OH THE HORROR!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This week...

I have probably had 238 blog posts go through my head over the last week and a half, but no time to sit down and actually get them typed out. So, I will share with you the Reader's Digest version instead.
First, we have a new van (do the happy dance with me, will ya?) That, in and of itself, accounted for about 177 of those aforementioned posts. I wonder if anything ever goes off without a hitch in Westie World? The answer to that is a resounding....No. But who cares about all the gory details when the end is so much better, and that is, that we bagged an AMAZING deal on a 2007 Kia Sedona. God really came through, folks. He always does.
Next, we had SNOW in Sweet Home Alabama!! This is the first time it actually did it and stuck since we have been here (almost a decade). Needless to say, the kids were thrilled and I was ridiculously happy myself. It didn't hurt matters at all that we went to the Pinewood Derby that morning and I won FREE STARBUCKS. Does it get any better? I mean snow and Starbucks all in one blessedly blustery morning. I really thought I had gone home to Glory at one point.
The first part of the week completely stunk. It was a horrible time for our community and it was/is just so sad that it seemed to put a dark cloud over everyone. I will let you read about it here. Once you do that, please head here to listen to one of the most amazing things that you will ever hear (scroll to the bottom of the page). God is so good.
Everything I say after that will pale in comparison, but just to bring you up to speed, we had our mandatory homeschool meeting yesterday. Usually I dread them, but this year was different. I had everything ready on time and I was able to pull together some awesome field trips (one of the reasons I have been away from my computer). It was really nice to see everyone and I had a good hair day, to boot. Later, I carried myself and my cooperative hair to church where we started a new Beth Moore study. I am so excited! Just in case you didn't know this about me, I am a HUGE Beth Moore fan. Her studies have never ceased to bring me closer to the Lord, so I always start them with much anticipation for an awesome blessing.
Well, there you have it. Gayle's week in a nutshell. My next entry will probably be about big-mouthed bookstore cashiers or something, so stay tuned.
Hope that all of you have had a good week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Very Best Resolutions

I received this incredible devotional for mothers today as a forward in my inbox. It comes from Proverbs 31 Ministries. It hit home with me so very much that I just had to share it:

It's that time when many of us are making New Year's resolutions, so how about some resolutions for mothers? Here are mine:

I will put my Bible before the television, the radio, the telephone, and even before good Christian books, for my children will know my priorities by the way they see me spend my free time.

I will make my prayer requests known before God and my children, enlisting their help in the process and informing them of the outcome, for by letting them help when I petition our Lord will they learn of a living God who still answers prayer.

When times of crisis, conflict or confusion arise, I will hit my knees before I hit the phone knowing that by my example my children will discover that although friends are important, God alone is the one who holds the solution to life's every problem.

I will erase the words "luck" and "lucky" from my vocabulary and will instead by my speech point my children toward the One who orchestrates every detail of our lives and brings all good things to pass, for by this my children will learn of an omniscient God.

When bad things happen, I'll neither grumble nor complain, but will instead help my children see that in the scope of our lives even the bad times are allowed for a reason, for by this my children will learn quiet trust in their Maker.

When normal childhood mishaps occur, I will remember that although difficult, it is still easier to remove grape juice from off-white carpet than to erase harsh and unloving words hurled at a child whose chubby little fingers have failed her, for by this my children will see a God who understands when our best efforts fall short.

When my children have witnessed something ugly in me - unkind words, an angry temper, "harmless" gossip, biting sarcasm or even my infamous "mommy pout" when things don't go my way - I will confess it as sin before them seeking their forgiveness, for by this my children will develop the much needed habit of wiping their spiritual slate clean before God and man.

I will teach my children the importance of cleanliness and order while at the same time remain sensitive to the fact that a skinned knee or hurt feeling is more crucial than a spotless floor or uncluttered counter, for by this my children will learn to value people above things.

I will make time for the lonely, the sick, the elderly, the difficult to love, and will bring my children along, for with each afternoon visit, each ride to the doctor, each raked lawn or washed window they will have opportunity to serve Jesus by serving the "least of these."

I will make our home a haven of rest and retreat from the outside world and a welcomed place for my children's friends, for with each impromptu backyard soccer game, each video viewed on a rainy day, each cup of hot cocoa or chocolate chip cookie, my children will have opportunity to practice the art of Christian hospitality thereby learning to share all God has given them.

I will by my actions and my speech let my children see a mom love their dad, for by this will my children sense family stability at a time when marriages all around them are crumbling.

I will not require of my children obedience, honesty, patience or kindness without first being willing to submit to the same rules whether in speed limit, in miscounted change from the grocery store or when answering a toddler for the fourteenth time, for by this my children will see a mother who is also learning and not a perfect parent to whom they'll never measure up.

In all things will I remember that more is caught than is taught.

There are little eyes upon you, mom. You are the first Bible your children will ever read.

Dear Lord, may my goals this year spring from a right relationship with You and may carrying them out point others heavenward. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ask and You Shall Receive...

Emily is having a Baby Photo Contest over on her little corner of the net. This is the only picture that I have in digital format of me as a child, yet it still has a funny story behind it. Are you surprised?
This is me and my sweet little brother. My haircut looks suspiciously boyish because the ringlets that Emily requested were snipped off just prior to this picture. By him. The one with the insanely cute face. On the right, just in case you were having trouble identifying me, the girl.

While I love this one, there IS a better one. One that meets every single one of Em's point criteria (okay, except macrame...dear heavens). But I have to find it.
I am henceforth on a mission, hopefully I will be back. Until then, fine bloggy friends I bid you adieu.

**Edited to add***

Ok, I couldn't find the picture I was looking for. Big bummer because it was one of me screwing up the entire family photo due to the fact that I had gum in my mouth that I was vigorously chewing WHICH apparently I couldn't do with my eyes open. Oh well.

Here are a few more that I could find. Check out that groovy stroller! How 'bout those knee-socks with the bathing suit? See, I told you I love me a good pair of socks.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

In Memoriam

Weeeeeell, bloggy friends, it's official.
Van McNasty has driven her last mile. Shall we pause for a moment of silence?
I have been driving around in a sweet little rental car, but I have still missed the ol' girl. Well, not really, but she was a good vehicle while she lasted.
Not to bore you to death, but apparently we would have had to replace the entire (cracked) engine and the radiator with all the hoses and do-hickeys that go with it. Who cares, right?...Anyway, bottom line, it would cost so much money to fix it that it would be foolish when we could use that amount on a decent down-payment (and peace of mind).
So, we are officially off on our search for a new van. It's a good thing too, because I have fallen in love with the new smell of my sweet little rental (which only has about 2500 miles on it). She is in my possession for the next few weeks, so it would have been bittersweet to go back to Van McNasty.
Hopefully this will be the last of my vehicle posts, since I kinda hate the subject. I promise soon to get back to more important things bladder control.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Comfy Socks and Crappy Vans

How could one have a bad day when your tootsies are being loved on by these brand new lil' sweeties? Oh, the unspeakable comfort of my soft and cute.

I must say, the arrival of these amazing little gems was not coincidental in it's timing. No siree. They came at the precise moment that I have no use for shoes whatsoever. You see, I am van-less for an indefinite amount of time, so I won't be going anywhere.
We were heading to church yesterday, happy to be early for once. We had nursery duty and we were feeling quite proud of ourselves for being able to relieve the S.S. workers sooner than usual. But, as we turned the corner to get onto the interstate, we realized that smoke and fumes were billowing all around us. (Sorry, Kimmie and Andrea)
Let me just pause to ask: Is it just me, or is there a feeling that is unique only to car trouble? You know, the sinking, stranded one?
Anyway, we were barely able to get it to the closest gas station, but thankfully, amidst choking and gagging over the fumes that were probably poisoning us, we managed. It was there that we noticed oil and water spewing from the bottom, creating a concoction strikingly similar to mud.
"This is not going to be good" was the brilliance that came forth from my husband, but guess what? He was right. However, our good friend/awesome mechanic man thinks that it might not be as bad as we first replacing the engine bad. It may only be head gasket bad, which still isn't so good....but better than engine bad...ya follow?
We paid this bugger off last year, so we will do what we can to fix it because we are determined to pay cash for a new one (well, probably slightly used) within the next few years. We have worked so hard to get all the way out of debt, so I was a little bummed out at the prospect of having to go get another vehicle. Well, it wasn't the new vehicle I was sad about, it was the payment, actually. ;)
We still aren't completely in the clear because they can't get to it until tomorrow, but I feel pretty confident that we are going to be able to get it fixed. God took care of the Crew once again.
Not only that, but we were so blessed through the whole ordeal to see a few families that we love dearly, but rarely get the chance to spend time with due to over-active schedules on all counts. It turns out that they had some Christmas gifts for us from last year so they brought them over. Now, just so that I can make this post one very complete gift.... was the comfy pair of socks above that make my whole world a little sweeter. Amen.
Have a great Monday!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

HA! I guess when you use words like denarii and do a mini-review of Pompeii, it skyrockets your "Blog Readability". Oh, how this fickle test mocks me, though, because one use of a word like "peed" and your toast. Back to Jr. High. So, now I have to say something like "soliloquy" for maintenance purposes.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2008


For some reason, I went through serious blogger's block not too long ago. Well, now that I am back in the saddle, I am kicking myself for not blogging about certain things we have done so far during this school year.
I was able to set us up some AMAZING field trips so far and I am just sick that I didn't post about them (simply because I have high hopes of using this blog for my memory holder).
One of the most awesome places that we went to this year is our city's art museum. They were one of the few chosen museums in the WORLD to host some of the ruins of Pompeii. Two of the biggest things that struck me were:
#1. The Coins~ I kept staring at them thinking "these could have been the very denarii that were traded for our Lord". Because they sure could have been. I also had the same thoughts when I saw the perfume and oil holders....these could have been the ones that were used to anoint Him....Honestly, it is really too much to put into words to see these artifacts.
#2. They had the actual cast made from this pile of people who were trying to escape the volcano's fury. They made it as far as the shoreline, only to be suffocated to death. These people were gripping all of their coins, jewelry....and their little gods. No kidding. They were holding these little statues that were no bigger than 3 inches tall along with their little pedestals (we were able to view the actual pieces later in the exhibit). As I stared at them, I thought "These people put their faith in these things. They believed they could save them, and they are no better than the junk you would find at a yard sale." It broke my heart when I stood there face to face with one.
On a different note, it is truly a miracle how well preserved this city was. The way all of the ash and other stuff piled up and packed around everything completely preserved it. Where their were people, there remained pockets of air that they poured plaster into (this process took place in the 1800's). It was packed so tightly around them, that even the finest detail was noticeable. On one person, you could even make out their eyelashes! Words alone cannot describe it.
If you live even remotely close to here and have the opportunity to take your kids to this...GO!
If not, this is really an awesome piece of history to study. They have some great documentaries out there which fascinated my kids before we even went to the exhibit.
I may come back and put a few more posts up about our field trips so far, but I HAD to get this one up here before my brain lost it for good.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008