Friday, March 31, 2006

Miserable Merriment!

We had a wonderful family day yesterday at the zoo! We ended up staying from open to close - all day! That wasn't our intentions, and I definitely think we over-walked poor post-surgical Papa, but oh! We had such a good time!

We saw every animal that was at the zoo, taking our time and talking all along the way. We splurged and bought lunch at the "Safari Grill", eating our feast outside among the giraffe and the gibbons! We played in the giant sand box, brushed the goats, fed the camels, walked like the penguins, and waded among the 'lily pads'! Which leads me to my story...

Candy Man can have the most wonderous of days and he says it was terrible! He focuses on the one little bad (or sometimes just somewhat irritating) thing that happened and that's all he talks about! While wading, a little boy pushed Candy Man and got him wet.

Sidenote: Now, according to Game Master, some other kids, and some eager-to-blame moms who-saw-it, this kid was a real bully. Game Master says that bully bit him in the booty! Other moms were outraged and tried to point the kid out to me. I just wanted to ensure that my children were okay. The whole ordeal lasted about 5 minutes. We left that area and went on to have more fun.

All the way home, Candy Man talked about this bully and how mean he was and what he had done to the other kids. After being sure to validate his concerns, I tried many times to steer the conversation back to the fun things we'd done. To no avail...

This is just my Candy Man! At Thanksgiving, I said, "What are you guys thankful for?" Candy Man immediately spoke up and said, "WELL! I can tell you what I'm NOT thankful for!!"

God bless him and make him thankful! I'm sure thankful for him!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Candy Man sayings...

After eating a jelly bean, I asked CandyMan what color it was.
He replied, "lellow".
I said "Lellow?"
He gave me a nasty look, correcting me and said, "NO! lettow!"

Thursday Thanks Tank #2 (filling up the tank with thanks)

It is Thursday once again and time to express my thanks! I almost said "time to be thankful". What a shame! I should be thankful ALL the time! That is why Thursday Thanks Tank is good for me! (See Peach for the original idea!)

I am thankful for:

1. God's timing. My poor husband had his emergency appendectomy and has been off of work for 2 weeks. He knew how badly "Papa" needed some time off (even if it didn't look like what he wanted!). He knew that my dad was having this heart procedure and how special it would be if I could be there (hard to do with hubby at work and 3 children at home). Thank you God for your timing!

2. Heart Ablasion. My "Doppler Daddy" just had this procedure done. A pretty simple procedure done through a heart cath where they burn a line in an area in the heart which stops the heart flutter. It is a cure for a condition that has caused him much trouble. It is a newer procedure. I am very thankful that my dad could have it!

3. C-PAP. I have obstructive sleep apnea. I was diagnosed last summer after doing a sleep study. Having this simple device has changed my days! I am so much more alert and awake. I feel soooo much better!

4. Sunshine! I'm so thankful for sunshine and warmer days! It is so nice to sit on the front porch and read books to the children! I just love the fresh air! Today is forecasted to be the prettiest day yet...

5. One more day off from work. Papa saw his doctor yesterday and he wrote him to go back to work on Friday! We expected that he'd be going back today. He is feeling much better. So we are having a family day and going to the zoo!

6. Old friends. I had lunch yesterday with an 'old' friend (since high school - wow, that makes me sound old, huh?). It has been 2 years since we've spoken and it was so good to see her!

7. Forgiveness. After leaving lunch with this friend, I realized that I had been apart of hurting her a few years ago and had to ask her to forgive me! I called her right then and told her how sorry I was. I am thankful for her forgiveness.

8. My children's good health! I keep hearing about all the sickness still going around. My children are well and I'm thankful!! Especially after Candy Man being sick and noone else getting it!!!

9. God's message of surrender. This was Sunday's message at church. A very timely one, I might add - as I'm running around trying to hold everything together at home!

10. God's control! Thank you God, that I can trust you with control of my life. You have control of everything all the time, but I keep trying to take over. Thank you that You are always willing to forgive me and take it back!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hospital comic moments!

When visiting a hospital, you must have a sense of humor. Don't you think? Between the booty-revealing attire and the plastic meals (have you noticed EVERYTHING tastes like water, but smells horrible?!? Where does the odor come from if the food has no taste?). The staffing is so over-stretched that no one has a name anymore. You are passed around like the bed you are lying on.

I spent the day at the hospital yesterday with my "Doppler Daddy" (my weather-loving father). He had a heart ablasion procedure that will correct once and for all his heart flutter. I'm so excited for him, anticipating that he will be feeling much better. I enjoyed the opportunity to wait on him - soon after the procedure he was allowed lunch, but was not allowed to sit up (he had to lay flat for 4 hours). I got to feed him lunch! I also got to 'walk him' around the cardiac floor a couple times later that day.

Okay, I must tell you that my Doppler Daddy is a very healthy and strong 59 year old man. We aren't talking about a feeble man, in any sense. However, I do think he thoroughly enjoyed all the attention and doting!

I especially enjoyed getting to spend the day with my mom! I get to spend one day a week with my dad (I work for him), and thoroughly enjoy that time with him. But I rarely get to spend quality time with my mom. It was such a treat. We fortunately did have a sense of humor and were able to laugh several times at different "hospital comical moments". It was a very special time indeed. Isn't it ironic how someone must be flat on their backs to bring families together?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thursday Thanks Tank #1 (filling up the tank with thanks)

I am "borrowing" "Just Peachy's" idea for thankfulness on Thursdays! I'm thankful for:

1. "Peach!" I honestly have a hard time being thankful. I guess it is my personality?? I can give you a list of complaints at any given time. So, today I am thankful for the challenge Peach has given me to be thankful!

2. My husband. He is doing much better now. Still sore and a bit bored. I am thankful that he is well. I am thankful that he gets another week off of work too!

3. My Game Master. He is so smart! I'm so glad. He's so easy to teach, so eager to learn.

4. My Candy Man. He is so sweet! I'm thankful for his hugs and cuddles, and his "funny sayings!"

5. My Pretty Princess. She is so feminine! I'm thankful for her girl-i-ness, that challenges me to enjoy the beauty of this world!

6. My extended family. I'm thankful that my parents are alive and in my life. I'm thankful to have grown up close to both sides of my family and still be close to some of them!

7. My friends. I'm thankful for my closest friends - my 'cropping buddy', my neighbor, my Mel, . I'm thankful for so many near friends - "frog loaner", "homeschooling buddies", "accountability partners", and more that I can't come up with creative names for!! I'm thankful for my long distance friends - "Bastica" and "Peaches."

8. My church. It has been a rough 2 years, leaving our church of several years and seeking a new one. I'm so thankful to be in a Bible-teaching church, where I am growing spiritually, making new friends, and can worship the Lord freely!

9. My world. I'm thankful for God's creation. It is becoming so beautiful here in East Tennessee. Spring is upon us and flowers & trees are blooming.

10. My God. I'm so thankful for the sacrifice that He made for me (and you!), that I may live my life with a purpose, that I am FREE, that I will spend eternity with Him. I am so thankful for His forgiveness. I am so thankful that He loves me, despite me!

Well, I did it! And I think I could come up with more! It was a good start to my Thursday!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Candy Man sayings...

At least once a day one of my children says something that puts me into stitches (makes me laugh hysterically)! Here is the Candy Man's most recent...

I found out yesterday morning that my grandmother had been put in the hospital. I called the children in to tell them. Candy Man came immediately, but Game Master was a little slower.

Candy Man said, "Tell me"!

I said, "We'll wait for Game Master."

He said, "Go ahead and tell me!"

I said, "No, you'll run in there and tell your brother."

He replied, "No, I won't! ........I'll walk!"

(You've got to appreciate his honesty!)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's March Madness!

I will survive! Well, we've made it through the Candy Man's illness, and through "Papa" having the appendectomy on Thursday. We are even going to attempt going to church this morning! I want to sing praises to God for helping me to perservere through this week!

Now, about this whole basketball thing going on right now... I admit that I am not a big sports fan. In fact, I'm not really a sports fan at all (except when my boys play in their youth sports, and then I'm the BIGGEST fan!!). My honey frequently tries different tactics to get me involved in his first love. He was successful in getting me involved about 5 years ago - during March Madness! Normally, I wouldn't watch ANY basketball. I would be clueless when he talked about it. But he had the greatest idea; an idea that appealled to my competitive side!!

Every year, just before the 'madness' begins, we each pick our teams for the whole tournament. Then we cheer them on and keep track of who has picked the most teams! So it's a little competition between the two of us. I have beat him every year except for one! We think that is hilarious, since I come into the 'picks' with no prior knowledge of the teams! This year, we have let "Game Master" be apart as well!

This year, I sabotaged myself by picking Tennessee to go to the final four. As I chose my picks, I said, "I don't really think they will make it that far, but how can I NOT cheer them on?? I have to pick them!" I am so proud of them for doing so well this year!

Our current standings are:
1. Papa at 30 games
2. Mama at 27 games
3. Game Master at 22 games

Eight more games today! Wooo-hooo!
(I admit, any enthusiasm is only in determination to "beat" my husband and not really for the teams or the game!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wow! Spring storms today!

It really hit today! No, not a sick child this time. A sick husband. A very sick husband! He had emergency surgery at 4:30 this afternoon to have his appendix removed. He was in serious pain! He's feeling better now though - watching the ballgame with his 'roomie' (at the hospital). He should be home tomorrow!

I will not be brought down! God is GOOD!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kid's Birthday Parties

Kid's Birthday Parties! What else could we do? We've done the parties at places. We've done the parties at home (inside and outside). We've done the parties at grandparents. My kids are young and I feel like I'm partied out already!

Of course, we've had 16 birthdays with our children already (at just 3,5, and 8 yrs old)! If you look at it like that, it's a lot of party planning in 8 short years!

My Game Master's birthday is coming up in May. I told him that it is his last single-digit birthday! After that, he will be double-digits for the rest of his life! He laughed and asked me if I was going to cry! (I just might...)

He recently went to a birthday party at a big play place called "Pump It Up" - a huge room full of inflatables. Saturday we are going to a Pirate's Birthday party to go treasure hunting... We've done water fun (slip-n-slide), golf, games, backyard basketball...

Any inexpensive suggestions? What have you done? What have you been to?

Candy Man update

Praise God! The Candy Man can once again! He's finally back today! He actually ate for the first time this morning. He's still weak, but it is so glad to see him smiling again!

I am so thankful for my family's good health. Thank you, God!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring showers already??

Ho, hum. I should have seen this coming! I blog about how "spring is coming" and how good I feel in the Lord and of course something would happen! I should have seen it coming! You don't post your faith for the world to see (or at least the two or three of you reading my blog!) and not expect the enemy to balk! You'd think I would've learned that by now!

What is the thing that "gets your goat"? How does the enemy get to you and try to bring you down? I'd like to know what it is for you! I'll pray for you!

For me, it is never the big stuff! I've been through rough times in marriage, losing jobs, losing homes, difficult pregnancies, financial difficulties, family issues, my best friend losing her 3yr old son to an impaired driver and then getting breast cancer less than 2 yrs later... Those things usually bring me closer to God and even more determine to fight in my faith!

It's the little things that get me! And this is the BIGGEST little thing for me! My Candy Man is sick! The poor boy got sick Saturday night and hasn't kept anything down since. His face is sunken in, dark circles under his eyes, lips cracked and dry - he doesn't even look himself, he's so puny! We must get fluids in him tonight, or he'll be put in the hospital tomorrow.

Why does my kid's getting sick get me down so much?

1. It gets us off our routine (I'm all about the schedule, maybe too much...)

2. I can't leave the house (not that it was in the plans today anyway...)

3. I feel helpless as a mom to provide relief for them! (Mommy, make it better!)

4. I feel neglectful towards each of my children. (How can I hold the bowl for the sick one, make a snack for the toddler and play a game with the oldest one all at the same time?

5. It brings up feelings of resentment towards my honey {Why can't he come home from work and rescue me? (which really means clean up the puke, and go get the medicine and popsicles that are so badly needed...)}

6. It gives me no opportunity to spend time with the Lord (except for those 'pop corn' prayers that you pop up there. You know, "God, please help me!")

As I write these reasons, the Lord speaks to me! (not audibly, of course) He says:

1. Your routine? I made you! I'm shaking you up a bit! This day, this is what I wanted for you. I allowed this.

2. Can't leave the house? This is what I've called you for - to make disciples of those little ones in your home. Where would you go?

3. I am God! I will provide relief for him. He is in my Hands and you can trust Me.

4. I'm not asking you to do it all! Who told you that was the perfect mom? Why are you trying to be that? Only one thing is important...

5. I will not let him "rescue you"! You learn to run to Me, to rely on Me, to trust in Me. Let ME rescue you!

6. No opportunity, huh? But you had time to blog???

Gotta go...

Friday, March 10, 2006

Spring is coming...

I finished "Captivating" (by John & Stasi Eldredge) this morning. It seems like it has been awhile since I've been so profoundly provoked by a book. I was literally amazed with each page - that I was hearing something new, something that I certainly hadn't believed about least until that point. I have prayed through the book, asking God to show me if it is true!

It said that I am a woman, an image bearer of God, the Crown of Creation! I was chosen before time and space, and am wholly and dearly loved. It said that I am sought after, pursued, romanced, the passionate desire of Jesus!! It told me that I was made uniquely feminine, for His purposes, to invite others to know Him, just by being this 'female' that He made.

Note: Now don't get me wrong, I've always believed this about YOU! I know how He feels about you! I just couldn't get that He felt that way about me too!

The book challenged me to find that female within me! I certainly don't feel very feminine. Oh! But I want to!! I want to discover that 'love affair' with the Lord. (you know, the one I didn't get in a husband - refer to yesterday's post!)

Through the process of reading and praying, asking God to show me that woman He loves, to prove to me that I have something beautiful to offer.. He began showing me. And my heart has changed, just a hint of transition on the outside, maybe not even observable - but certainly, most definitely there on the inside. I feel different. The world appears more colorful. It is as if spring is coming and something is about to bloom - ME!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My Fairy Tale

It was 10 years ago today...

I felt as beautiful as I'd ever felt, all dressed up in white with jewel ornaments all over. I wore a crown of diamonds (we can pretend they were real...) as if I was a queen! Everyone around me rushed in a flourish - all for me! This was my day! The day I'd dreamed of for so long! A beautiful day - the heavens so blue, the fields of emerald, the earth was dressed up for me too!

And then it was time. Time to present myself to my king! I went to him, unaware of anyone else around. And I promised my life to him, my love and my forever. And he promised his undying devotion to me.... It was breath-taking!

SCREEEEEECH! Stop the presses! Give me a BREAK! What was I thinking!??? I must have been out of my mind! Let's get real...

During the week after we were married, I remember looking across the table at him and thinking, "Who is that man? My husband!? I don't even know him!" (In actuallity, we had known each other for 7 years!) I suddenly felt like we were strangers!

I have to say that the last ten years have NOT been anything like I thought they would be! Where is the romance? The passion? The enchantment? The FAIRY TALE!!?? This is what I thought I was getting!! Instead, I got bills, laundry (in the floor, I might add!), dirty dishes, trash overflowing, and a little later... dirty diapers (lots of them!), and snotty noses. I got days without talking, nights in bed alone, tearful moments of frustration.

But I also got... a friend - he's been there for me when others weren't. He's had so many moments of wisdom - giving me prudent advise in just the right way. I got a pal - someone to play games with, watch TV with, just be myself around. I got a lover - someone to enjoy as God planned (and when I had the energy!). I got a partner - in life, in financial matters, in parenting, in many other things. I got a companion - someone to spend time with, to go places with. And I got a soul mate - I am so thankful for him being a Christian, that he understands my struggles and joys as a child of faith.

So, even though marriage is not at all what I thought it would be... I think it has been good for me! We are opposites, but through the struggles, I think we improve each other! He completes me.

I love you, honey! Happy 10th wedding anniversary! May the next 10 be greater than the last, but never so comfortable that we aren't becoming better at it!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


"How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone?" --G.K.Chesterton

I love homeschooling!!

I just love homeschooling! Seriously, I truly do! I can't imagine doing anything else! Of course it hasn't always been that way...

I had Game Master home for kindergarten and first grade. Candy Man was a high-demand toddler and Princess was just a newborn when we began. It made for an insane two years. I looked forward to sending him off to school for second grade. Then I cried many days when he went! I'm so fickle!

He was soooo bored at school, learning very little. We all despised the schedule of early awakening, school, homework, early bedtime that allowed very little family time - or extra-curricular time either! So we decided it best to bring him back home.

We started third grade at home in July 2005. He finished it last week! So we are on "spring break" this week - being lazy, having fun, doing nothing. Next week we begin fourth grade with some extra 'penmanship' practice too! It's time to do more with Candy Man as well.

Well, I guess it is easy to say I love homeschooling during spring break, huh?!? Really, we do better with the structure of our school days than with the free time ("what is there to do?") and the boredom (thus the fighting). How many days left until Monday??

Monday, March 06, 2006

Well, here goes...

Well, here goes... I am brand new to blogging... how exciting (for me, anyway!).

How about a little introduction of myself? I am a wife and mother of three living in Knoxville, Tennessee. I am 34 years old and do many things!! I'll start with the things most important to me.

I am a continually-striving-to-be-better-wife to my lovely husband-who-works-too-much. Really, I love him dearly, which is why I wish he was home more! I truly miss him when he is not here. Well... most of the time.

I have three darling children (even if a little rambunctious!). My first son is 8 years old. He wants to be called the "Game Master" - after his love for all games, especially video games and computer games! My second son is 5 years old. We call him "Candy Man" - obviously because he LOVES candy!! (more about that another time) And my third child - adopted as a baby - is now 3 years old. She is our "Pretty Princess" - as we speak she is wearing a ballerina costume and dancing through the house saying "it's a wonderful dream come true!"

I homeschool the boys - Game Master just finished 3rd grade and is getting ready to start 4th grade. Candy Man is in Kindergarten. We are on "spring break" this week after a fun weekend trip to Ohio for a family wedding. We will be spending much time just playing this week!!

I am a Christian. Not just a Christian, in the Southern-Bible-Belt kind of way. I LOVE JESUS! I have a personal relationship with Him and want to honor Him in everything I do, say, and think! I fail miserably sometimes and am thankful for His forgiveness and grace! Lately, He has been teaching me so much about His love for me and how He made me. I will share more about that another time!