Thursday, July 31, 2008
I am heading down the slippery slope to Overwhelmedville because I haven't used my time wisely and my deadlines are closing in on me. In more plain words: The noose is tightening and I am FREAKING out!
I thought about giving you my long (and have I mentioned *overwhelming* list), but who the heck needs to be bored to death while I sit here making that as my stomach twists into wicked knots? Not good for anybody involved.
The quick version is that I am teaching K-5 for co-op next year, and I haven't first thing planned. It starts in 3 weeks. I have to teach MY OWN CHILDREN (see, no one can accuse me of playing favorites), and I haven't really planned the first thing for that either. Also, I am in charge of putting together and facilitating and entire semester of field trips.....which is no surprise, since I have been doing this for a few years now.....but, you guessed it, I haven't even touched it yet. It has to be completed and presented in a pretty package by this time next week. I am hyper-ventilating.
I always pull it off and no one is any the wiser for it, but one of these days, I am going to have a heart-attack over the stress I place on myself. I just know it.
So if you see me around Bloggyville over the next few days....PLEASE, if you care for your self-inflicting friend.....kick my cyber tail. I MUST WORK. TODAY.
Later taters, and you know I love ya, right?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
First, a little background and a lesson in sunscreen: When I was a teenager, I actually had a decent complexion. I would only get the stray pimple here and there, but other than that, it really wasn't a struggle, thankfully. But (there's always a "but", huh?), when I was in my early 20's I went to the beach and I got a HORRIBLE sunburn on my face because I put nothing on it for prevention. I'm talking blisters and peeling and everything. It was really bad.
Ever since that little episode, I have battled my complexion. My sunburn may have only been one contributing factor though, because my hormones are some of the most whack things eh-ver. Nevertheless, the moral of the story is: protect your skin while you are in the sun!
Ok, so moving on..,
I have tried everything out there for skincare. Everything. Most things would make my face either overly oily or overly dry, but in the end, I would get the same result no matter what: breakout.
So when I read about THIS the other day, I thought, "yeah right, that has to be the most ridiculous thing you could possibly do". But hey, apparently "ridiculous" calls my name because I thought I would give it a shot.
The very basic premise of this method...The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)... is that oil dissolves oil. So by massaging a mixture of castor oil (naturally cleansing) and extra virgin olive oil (naturally moisturizing) into your pores, then steaming your face and wiping it off, you will deeply cleanse your skin, but not strip it of it's natural oils the way most purchased cleansers do.
When you strip your skin of it's natural oils, it automatically takes the cue to freak out and over-produce, and in sensitive skin like mine, it generally causes a breakout. So, when using OCM, the end result is supposed to be balanced oil production, clear and naturally moisturized skin.
Whatever. I'm no scientist, nor am I an aesthetician (however, I AM a beauty school dropout, but that's another post and has nothing to do with anything), but I CAN tell you that it has really worked! I don't usually hold my breath with these kind of things, but so far, I have exclusively used this on my face and neck for several days and my skin feels wonderful and is responding well. Since I can decide pretty firmly how things are going to work in a month's time, this is how long I have devoted to be sure it's all it's hyped up to be. I'll let you know, because I just KNOW you are sitting on the edge of your seat over it.
Sorry, nothing much is happening around here that's blogworthy, so this is what you're getting. And since you know how nosey I am, I want to know what you use on your face and if you have any problems with your skin (not just pimples) and what you do about it? Inquiring minds want to know.....
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
For example, say I have 380 friends, but I find out that one person doesn't exactly think that I'm worth sharing air with and, suddenly, I start to believe that I must be the most annoying person in the world.
Or what about the soul who gets a zillion compliments, but if one person says something nasty, THAT'S the thing he/she believes. Why is that?
I am so guilty of it. I can't tell you anything else about my 3rd grade year except that the leader of the "popular clique" decided that I "had too many barrettes in my hair", so because I looked funny, they wouldn't be talking to me anymore. I recognize it for what it is now, but why is it, at 33 years old, I can still recall it like it was yesterday?
There are plenty more things like that permanently glued to my brain, but if you ask me to tell you what was said to me on my wedding day? I. can't. remember.
What is that about?
It's rejection and it completely STINKS. There is no one who is immune from it either. I don't know one single person who hasn't felt the sting of it. It hurts and it sticks with us whether we like it or not.
I would like to think of it as being something that was left back in the halls of the Jr. High Schools that we all attended, but that's so far from the truth. I can name 5 people, without giving it much thought, that are dealing with the pain of this right this minute. It's really all around us, and it makes me so sad. Why don't people consider how their choices make others feel? Especially when we have all felt like crap over other people's choices...
I have already mentioned that I have been the rejected, yet I have been guilty of being the rejecter, too. My prayer tonight, as this is fresh on my heart, is that I will have my eyes wide open to other's pain, no matter how small, and that I will offer the love of Christ, which we are called to, as much as possible. Whether it's a quick word of encouragement or just flat out including the excluded. Open my eyes, Lord.
Ok, I think I can go to sleep now. Thanks for letting me ramble this one off my chest.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Ok, Mommies. It's time for some of us to head back a few years because Amy Beth needs us. I have been wracking my overloaded brain to come up with one piece of advice to give to them, but I just can't seem to narrow it down to one thing.
Anyway, let's start with labor for this post. All 4 of my labors were vastly different. Did you experience that, too? You would have thought that I was a pro by the time sweet baby Andrew (#4) came alone. But I so wasn't. Actually, he was the one that I had the false alarm with. You know, when you actually get sent HOME after being so sure that you are in labor? That had never happened to me prior to him, and it was bad. All bad. I was an inconsolable 9 month pregnant nutcase. Good times.
Ahem. So my point is, labor is like a puzzle. You can have most of the pieces (TIMABLE contractions, nasty discharge...(sorry to any men), diarrhea, dilation and effacement...ect.) and still not be quite ready. Which stinks. Blame Eve. Now, I am not trying to make you go throw back the dozen doughnuts in exasperation here, I am just telling you that....drumroll please....no one is a pro (oh, and while your at it, keep that in mind for breastfeeding, childrearing...and everything involving parenting because there will be some that will think that they are...I'm just sayin'...).
Every one is different and your experience will be 100% your own. Each time. Which is why we all LOVE to sit around and discuss it over coffee (the breakfast of champions....oops! Wait. Not so much while you're nursing....but that's another post).
I guess what I am trying to say is to relax when you get closer to the end. It will happen. And if, God forbid, you have to take the walk of shame home, we will be here with open arms and your craving of the moment to hold you up while you snot bawl. It's normal. And we will probably do it with you.
Next week, we will actually get to the REAL labor part. I promise. That is, IF I am not banned from participating. ;)
Ok, girls.....back me up here. Did you have a false alarm....or just a meltdown at the end? Spill it, because I think I am sinking the ship.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
To be brutally honest, my grass is so horribly high right at the moment, that I am completely wigged out thinking that if our little dog (she's a shih-tzu) goes out the back door, we will never find her again.
Mark (our resident lawn guy) has been working crazed hours, and choosing to have awesome quality time with the Crew on the weekends, so he's been unable to do it. Unfortunately, that leaves moi. And since the heat index here in S.H.A. is 105 humid degrees, I think I can find a way to deal with looking like the butt of one of Jeff Foxworthy's jokes. Yes, y'all. It's THAT bad.
So, I want to know all about your yard keeping habits. Do you mow and all that, or is it your hubby, or someone else? How often does it get done? And is your yard large or small? DETAILS please. I love me some details!
Ours yard is actually very big and I would love to post pictures except that I have already posted my messy house, and me with a towel on my head very recently. I think it's time to chill a bit in the "keepin' it real" department. Because I obviously can't do that just a little bit... NO, I have to have a keepin' it real SHE-BANG, don't ya know. So no pics.
Ok, you're up!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Before I get into what I am about to get into, I wanted to say that we have a Dollar Theater in our area and it is SUCH an awesome thing. In the time between when a movie leaves the regular theater, until it's released on DVD, it's in the good ol' Dollar Theater. And guess what? The reason it's called the Dollar Theater is because it only costs a mere dollar to see a movie that only weeks before would have cost you $8. How much does that rock? So we went to see Baby Mama and oh my dear good gracious I laughed. And it wasn't filthy or anything, so that's good....because even the funniest movie is ruined in my world if it's filthy.
Ok, but on to what I wanted to say. Friend and I made the executive decision to go to IHOP to eat because we were too late for the earlier movie, but obviously way to early for the late one. We needed a place to hang out, that was low key, and offered some beverage of the java variety in order to keep this Mama awake past her bedtime.
As we were being seated, I quickly noticed a large group of older people who, I assume, were fresh from the evening service at their church. There were probably 14-16 of them and they were engaged in some pretty strong conversation.
We sat there long enough to get our deeply loved beverages when a group of teenagers, dressed in some serious goth came in and were seated in between us and the elderly church-people. Naturally, the old folks looked a little disgusted and they probably said a few things that I couldn't hear.
The older group, because of the increased noise level, I guess, ended up talking at an increased volume which allowed Friend and I to hear every word pretty clearly. I will briefly pause here to say that I have deep value for a friend who you can just be quiet with. Someone who understands the importance of eavesdropping, and strives to perfect it, because at that point, we share a strong bond. ;)
So the older group proceeds to discuss everything and everyone that is wrong within their church. They were gossipping and being downright hateful. Then they started to discuss how they had nominated some of the men that were present to be in leadership and I was also able to pick up that many of them there were already serving in that capacity. After a little more debate and complaint, they filled up their bellies and headed out the door. I remarked to Friend that I sure would hate to be a part of that church, as I purposefully tore in to my Chicken Fajita Omelet.
It wasn't until a few minutes later that I realized the magnitude of the damage that had been done. The only girl that was in the party of teenagers declared that it was because of that kind of thing that she hated church and that she would never go. She went on to say that she didn't believe that there even was a God, and that she only believed in the devil. Both Friend and I stopped eating and just listened, sick to our stomachs. She couldn't have been more than 16 and she was adamant.
We were stunned and thrilled when one of the boys (who was facing me) worked up the courage to pipe up in between bites and confess that he is a Christian. He stood up to his 3 friends (really 2 because one of them was so completely high that he was barely coherant).
Now this kid is obviously struggling right now (I heard some of the things he is involved in...), but he went on to have an intelligent debate with this girl, and her boyfriend, for the Lord. He didn't cave, not even once. I leaned out, at one point, to catch his eye so that I could give him the silent encouragement of a thumbs up, just to let him know that we were hearing him and we were on his side, praying hard within ourselves. He saw me, and he gave me a quick wink. It continued on for a few minutes, and before you knew it it was over.
We sat there for a few minutes in stone cold silence, only this time not listening, just processing. The kids got up to leave and an overwhelming sadness smacked both of us right there in the middle of IHOP.
Do you see the paradox here? Do you see what we all should learn from this? There is just so much. But I want to see what stands out to you the most on this Monday morning. I don't want to preach so tell me.... What do YOU take away from this? No thought is insignificant.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It was 750 degrees in the shade with a humidity of 1000%, but why would we let that deter us? Wait, I did say that we were moving on from torturous, so that's what we must do. Plus, we all dripped off at least 6 pounds in sweat, so that's a good thing, right? Let's see what Ty thinks:
I can tell you one thing for sure, I am so stinkin' tired today. What's up with that?! I feel like I have been hit by a truck. Here, I can prove it:
Friday, July 18, 2008
I took all 4 of my beloved children shopping. I don't mean grocery, although that certainly qualifies under said rule, I mean "Mama's a mite discontented with her wardrobe and Julianna needs a new bathing suit shopping".
I have to go ahead and exonerate my sweet daughter here. Actually I'm going to give her some serious props for her innate skillz in this area. She picked out and tried on like a champ even under such excruciating conditions as having your three havoc-wreaking brothers there laughing uncontrollably because you put your denim capri's on inside out after leaving the fitting room. Could she help it that she was excited to have found a $45 dress for $7 and it fit perfectly?!
Excuse me while I wipe a tear because even as I type, she came walking out here in her jammies with her new sparkly pink flip-flops on her feet. Atta girl!!!
Gravy, I keep getting sidetracked. ANYWAY, they are their Daddy's men. They weren't 6 seconds into our little excursion before their eyes started to glaze over and the whining ensued. But it never stops there, because if it did, I would be soooo alright with that, you see, because I can tune my lovies out like nobodies business.
NO, it gradually escalates from touching e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that can break, to riding on your not-so-coordinated big brother's back right into a small clearance kiosk (which turned out to be forgivable because that's how we found the aforementioned sparkly pink flip-flops on sale for $3....can I get an AMEN?)
The part that caused my blood pressure to finally reach stroke level was when I started to the checkout. In all honesty, that is always my least favorite part of any shopping trip as it is, but this time, because the boys were buck-wild, it made it all the worse. As I am trying to corral them all to within a few feet of me, (which is no small feat because they have this wretched tendency to scatter like....I don't know....but something that scatters.....) I hear this blood curdling screech from Andrew. You know the automatic sliding doors? Yeah, well, he somehow managed to get his chubby little arm stuck in between the sliding one and the stationary one. So I run over there, leaving the rest of my children amuk around the ceramics, to try to disengage my child from the contraption. But it wasn't budging.
And since we can never have just a small amount of chaos, about that time, the little unmoving doors must have sensed that it had a child caught in it's clutches because IT started screaming, too. Alarms were going off and every associate for miles, I swear, came running. Thankfully, after what felt like 16.5 hours, I was able to loosen Andrew's arm.
I then took my child, my purchases and my fractured dignity to the cashier where she looked me dead in the eye, right here in the middle of Summertime, and asked me: "Do you homeschool?"
THIS is why I shop online, thankyouverymuch. Now I am off to celebrate Squeezie Cookie's big 5 years. Adios and Happy Friday!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Michelle and her precious family have been at our church for a few years now, but back in early 2007, her sweet boy, her only boy, had an accident with a gun which resulted in his going home to be with his Jesus. For reasons so far beyond my comprehension, God allowed Michelle to be the one to find her 12 year old son afterward.
I can't even begin to tell you of the pain that went through our church like a tidal wave. It was such a devastation and our hearts ached uncontrollably for these amazing people. I never really got to know Michelle, but the amount of times that she has been on my mind to the point of weeping have been countless (and I am far from the only one).
Today, she bravely....oh, so bravely....stood before a pretty largish group of women and took us through her journey thus far. She took us through the trying times before that day (which were some very serious trials in and of themselves), and how God brought her family to our church knowing that they would need the support of it later. She took us through the accident and the raw emotion...the intense pain, the guilt, and the deep depression that followed. But all along, you could see how the Father's loving hands were holding her. Even in the darkest places, He was holding her and gently guiding and molding her.
Then one day, at one of the worst points, she says she was "dragged by her hair" to a women's retreat by her friend, where she stayed locked up in her room for most of it. Finally her friend asked her to come down and pray over her because she was about to speak, so Michelle reluctantly did, and then kind of "had" to stay to listen to the next speaker.
But just like God, He reached down and met her at the bottom of her pit, because one thing is for sure, He never-ever leaves His children there.
She said that as she listened to the speaker teach about the account of David and Goliath, a story she had heard 65 million times before, God gave her a fresh understanding. She was able to picture, with clarity, the utter enormity of the giant that was before the young boy, David, as he bravely spoke these words:
"You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...." 1 Samuel 17:45.
It was then and there that God spoke to Michelle and she realized that her Goliath was her depression and that God had given her the Rock of her faith to conquer it (she told us that she even carries around an actual rock so that she can be reminded).
She said that just as the Israelites ran scared of this giant, she was running scared of hers and allowing it to intimidate her because of it's massiveness. Then she challenged us to face our giants....to gather up our Rock and to stand boldly in faith because God has equipped us.
Which is why I am writing this all out, bloggy friends. Of course, I need to have this here for my own remembrance, but I also wanted to share this with you. Our Goliath's may not be as monumental as Michelle's have been, but they are real, and they can make us go bury our heads in the sand hoping that they will just go away. They won't. Even I can attest to that truth.
We have to be willing to step out in faith and BATTLE the things that the enemy wants to overtake us with....and the GREAT news is that we are already assured the victory. I hope you will chew on that for a little bit today.
Thanks, Michelle (even if you never read this), for your courage this morning. I can't even begin to tell you how it spoke to me...
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I wish that I could know the future, understand it, and be wise.
I wish that anxiousness and doubt would flee me like a bird.
I wish that Your voice alone would be all I ever heard.
I wish that I could hear You clearly in decisions to be made,
And not this ugly place called "gray".... oh what a horrid shade!
I love You dearly, Abba Father, and in You alone I trust,
But please remember, Abba Father, that I am merely made of dust.
Do you use a feed reader to read your blogs such as Bloglines or GoogleReader, ect., or do you just randomly click the blogs that you like to see if they are updated?
If you DO use any of these, which one is it, and if you have experience with more than one, what do you like about one over the other?
And last....are your toenails painted or are they au naturale?
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Hope y'all are having a blessed weekend! I have enjoyed catching up with you!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Earlier this week, I met up with some of the bloggers who live in my area for dinner. It was SO much fun getting to hang out with the girls. Some of them I know in real life, and some I was able to put a face and voice to the wonderful personalities that I have been reading for awhile....not that blog-hopping is all I ever do, though. No seriously. I DO have a life. Really.
Anyway, it came to my attention over the blazing fire that was scorching my eyebrows, that my profile picture is...shall we say...archaic. "It doesn't even look like you anymore" was what my sweet friend, Distybug, informed me of as she was catching shrimp in mid-air with her mouth.
And I have been pondering since that moment, that there is a reason for my conundrum...actually there are TWO reasons now that I think about it.
The first is that I am always the one wielding the beloved camera. I am seriously never without the thing. In fact, it resides in my purse in case their is ever a photo-op, and I want you to know, there have been plenty. The obvious issue here is that since I am the one taking the pictures, I am never the one in the pictures.
Numero dos is that when someone DOES get my picture, it looks like THIS. Lord have mercy.
SO, before I decided to pack up my kids and camp for a couple of nights, (quite literally right before, since you can see that I am in my van) I snapped this picture of me:
I had the best time with just me and my kids and all of nature, but I haven't seen my hubs in 2 days because of it, so I need to wrap this up. I will tell you all about it soon, but until then, I will leave you with my newfound buddy from the petting zoo:
HAAA!! Notice any resemblance?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Here's the cool thing in Westie World though: For the first time ever, we have a DVR which will allow us to record the events that we missed. That rates pretty high on the cool factor because I fully intend to plop my heiny on the couch with an ice cold Coke, alternating between something sweet and something salty (but both high in fat), while cheering on those who are pushing themselves to their respective physical limits. Oh, the irony. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?
So, do you watch? And if so, what are your favorites?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
1. Where is your cell phone? counter
2. Your significant other? couch
3. Your hair? short
4. Your mother? here
5. Your father? somewhere
6. Your favorite thing? calm
7. Your dream last night? dreamy
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? pursuing
10. The room you’re in? classroom
11. Your church? solid
12. Your fear? unfounded
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? serving
14. Where were you last night? here
15. What you’re not? perfect
16. Muffins? belly
17. One of your wish list items? wisdom
18. Where you grew up? backwoods
19. The last thing you did? eye-rolling
20. What are you wearing? t-shirt
21. Your TV? BLARING
22. Your pets? cute
23. Your computer? love
24. Your life? blessed
25. Your mood? transitional
26. Missing someone? sure
27. Your car? silver
28. Something you’re not wearing? make-up
29. Favorite store? inexpensive
30. Your summer? FUN
31. Like(love) someone? absolutely
32. Your favorite color? all
33. Last time you laughed? now
34. Last time you cried? yesterday
35. Who will repost this? hmmmmmm....
Wow, that was kinda hard. I feel the almost irresistable urge to clarify a few of these, but I will refrain lest I defeat the purpose of the Meme.
If you would like to participate, I would love it, just leave me a comment and let me know so we can all read....
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Yesterday wasn't much better in the heifer realm, but I did manage to make it to my Mom's for a cookout before heading into the city for some fireworks.
They were very pretty but we enjoyed watching the kids with their sparklers more than anything. I guess I could get up and go load the pictures...
Hold on, I'll be right back....(cue elevator musak)
Well, if you were really holding on, you'd be stinkin' mad by now because that took FOR-EVER! Here is a word to the wise, do not ever use the "fireworks" option on your camera unless you want all your pictures to look like this:
It's like viewing the sparklers through Jim Morrison's eyes, huh? May he R.I.P. and all that....and can I just say that I really can't stand his music...I mean, I know it's wrong to speak ill of the dead and all, but I hated the garbage even when I was an unsaved teen and it was cool to like it. Hated it.
Here are a few that I was able to salvage:
And a good time was had by all. I guess I had better go do something about that laundry now since it isn't doing itself. Happy 5th to you!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This W.F.M.W. has a theme this go-round, and it's one that I happen to think is brilliant! We are supposed to post a recipe that has 5 ingredients or less and I knew the perfect one. I serve it as a side dish a bunch during the Summer because I usually have all of the stuff I need on hand.
And here is the stuff (as I go all Pioneer Woman on you...)
Fresh basil, tomatoes (any size, I just happened to have cherry), fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette.
Now you just chop the tomatoes and the basil, tear the mozzarella and pour on your vinaigrette. Then you toss it together and throw it back.
Does it get any easier? No. Do it get any yummier? Well, maybe, if you're craving chocolate or something, but it's certainly up there on the tasty scale.