Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twenty Twelve

This year we....

  • Celebrated my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary.
  • Had a baby.
  • Rode in an ambulance and had another hospital stay when baby was 2 weeks old.
  • Recovered from the last 2 items.
  • Started a new school year.
  • Figured out (kind of) how to do school with a baby around.
  • Became a preacher's wife.
Whew. Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

What I already know:

  • Baby will learn to crawl soon, then walk. And talk. And school will never be the same.
  • School will somehow go on.
  • My husband will continue working very hard at a full-time job and preaching.
  • I will continue to find ways to make us fit in this house that we don't fit in as well as we used to. Until we move, we're here. And we have no plans to move right now so...we have to fit.
  • We have to continue learning to be healthier.
  • We must get a grip on ever-changing finances around here and continue working to get out of debt. (stupid hospital stays)
  • And most of all, God is good.
Oh and one more thing. I will continue sharing all the fun with you guys in the new year. Thanks for being so understanding of my terrible posting this year.

Ready for a new year!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The House of Fever and Hack

We're a barrel of fun around here. I started running fever Christmas Eve and continued on until the day after Christmas, where I spent 3 1/2 hours sitting in a clinic waiting room to be asked by the doctor, "Could you have been exposed to anyone with the flu lately?"

Um, you mean besides the last 3 1/2 hours?

It wasn't flu, by the way.

I feel better, but not 100%. It's rough running 101 or 102 and still having to feed baby. Baby Bee was VERY good Christmas afternoon and entertained herself for a really long time for Daddy while Mommy laid in bed. And she stayed with my parents while I was at that clinic the next day. She did not die from lack of nursing but I was one anxious Mama and she was really glad to see me when I got home.

Now Sweetheart has a cough and so do I. I have big plans for us to all just stay home as much as possible!

But we had a good Christmas and I was thankful to feel good enough to be up and there. I'll share pics later. Don't have that kind of time right now.

Right now I'm on Project Baby Proof. I was so proud I got the pantry rearranged yesterday and today had plans to go around the living room floor checking for safety hazards.

And then Baby Bee pulled herself up to her knees on the coffee table last night. I wish you could have seen how delighted she was with herself. Started pounding on the keyboard of the laptop!

So needless to say, Project Baby Proof needs to speed up its efforts a few notches!

Hope you all had a blessed holiday with your families!

P.S. Wanted to share this picture. We snuck down to the beach before Christmas and bought some shells to surprise S with a beach tree in his home office. Took this pic of Little Bit outside one of the stores. It cracks us up.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Security of Things

Obviously with my TWO hospital stays within two weeks of each other earlier this year, we have some debt. Even with insurance.

Debt stresses me out. I don't like to be in debt. (Car note and mortgage, even though they are also debt, don't stress me out. EXTRA debt stresses me out.) And here at Christmas it gets even harder.

The thing is, we have what we need. There are 6 days until payday and we still have meals we can make from last week's grocery trip. I don't even have to go on a big trip this week! That's amazing. So I'm making a list of what we really have to have.

It's just that I see what's waiting in the wings for us, and I fear for what might happen. What if someone needed dental work? What if the car or van broke down? Any one thing could cause us to be in a bad situation because we have so much going OUT right now and not enough padding for me to be comfortable.

But do I need to be comfortable? Do I need the assurance of a large bank account? Do I need "financial security"? Let's see what scripture has to say about it.

  • We are told not to store up earthly treasure, but heavenly treasure. (Matt. 6:19-21)
  • We are told not to store up riches, but rather good works. (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
  • We are told to store up as we have prospered, to help the church. (1 Cor. 16:2)
  • We are told not to worry about what we will eat or wear. (Matt. 6:25-34)

There. A little eternal perspective does wonders. I will try to be a good steward of what we have been given. I will try to be frugal with my husband's paycheck.

But I will not worry.

I will trust in the Lord, Who is our Provider. And is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20)

Have a good weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012

So When They Ask Me, I'll Remember

**Thanks, everyone, for the comments on my last post!

I've asked several older women about their younger years as a mom. I've asked them "how did you manage when your kids were little?" and questions like that.

They have all given me similar answers:

I have no idea.
Those years were a blur.
I honestly don't remember.

Well. I want to remember how I handled life and what we were doing when I had 3 at home. So today I thought I'd track our day. It was work. But now I've got it for posterity's sake. Can't say this is a "typical" day...but it was a day.

7:30  Wake up. I usually wake up at 6:45, but S got up early and it threw me off. Oh well. Lay in bed and check e-mail, Facebook, etc. Rather, lay in bed and squint at screen because I don't have my glasses.

7:45 get up and feed Baby Bee in the recliner.

8:00 get the roast going in the crock pot, make breakfast (canned biscuits, oatmeal, and green smoothies). What is that smell? Take out trash in kitchen. Oh. Its actually the burnt sweet potato that dripped in the oven yesterday. Nothing like sweet potato biscuits. Put stamps on bills and mail them.

--girls are dressing Bee during all this.

8:30 Sweetheart out of shower and getting dressed. Little Bit playing. Bee is in high chair. Oatmeal is cooling. Biscuits are baking.

Eat breakfast. Have pep talk with girls about Dad's declaration that the weekends are for FUN and the house shall be clean by Friday evening with groceries bought and errands run. Discuss picking things up as we go and how little things add up. Girls leave table immaculately clean.

8:50 My turn in the shower. Sweetheart finishing breakfast and taking care of baby. One of the perks of having olders and baby at same time.

9:10 I'm out and dressed. Bee is ready to nurse. Little Bit is playing school with her dolls. Wants preschool workbook. I remember preschool computer games. Find CD and direct girls how to install it while nursing. It works. Can't believe it--it's from 2002.

9:30 Start school.

10:25 Bee falls asleep in my lap during reading.

10:35 Sent Little Bit for play break while I work on reading questions with Sweetheart. She does not remember what she read. I send her teary-eyed back to re-read. Note to self: girls need to go to bed earlier tonight.

11:10 Bee wakes up. Time for math--both girls at once. Otherwise known as suicide.

12:15 Sweetheart is half done with math. Little Bit all done. Play break for all!
Bee plays in her bed while I clean out her drawers. I notice Sweetheart never made her bed which was huge part of our pep talk at breakfast. Sigh.

12:35 Lunch. Leftovers from restaurant for Little Bit, leftover hot dogs for Sweetheart and me, sweet potato and applesauce for Bee. Work on trying to get Bee to use her left hand to pick up cereal. Girls are cheering for right hand. Suckers.

1:10 It stopped raining. Outside to ride bikes because Mama has been thinking Sweetheart needs more exercise.

1:20 Down to Grandpa's house to see if he can raise Little Bit's seat and handlebars. He does, after much searching for the right sized Allen wrench which we find in S's toolbox. Now she can keep this bike a while longer.

Girls ride through rain puddles and get very wet. Bee is at Grandma's playing with her in the floor.

1:45 Back inside for more school. Time for Bee's nap. First, girls must change wet clothes.

2:15 Finish feeding Bee and lay her down in her bed.

2:40 Finish reading and history with Little Bit. Sweetheart finishes piano.

Switch laundry.

2:45 Spelling with Little Bit. Sweetheart working independently.

2:50 Done with school for Little Bit and she is in tears and doesn't know why. Remind self children need to go to bed early tonight. Baby still sleeping. Sweetheart still working. I clean part of kitchen.

3:00 Decide to get read-aloud done while Bee is sleeping.

3:55 Finish reading (we are behind so we read a long time). Finish kitchen. Sweetheart finishes school.

4:05 Bee wakes up. Little Bit practices piano. Sweetheart still finishing school. We didn't finish all the subjects but we seem to have run out of day. Oh well. Tomorrow.

4:20 Bee is finished eating (again). Clean off our bed of all the stacks I made while cleaning Bee's drawers. Finish drawers.

4:30 Girls have abandoned baby to go play. Hear her fuss because she is alone in room. Go sit and play with her.

4:45 Go check on neighbor who is 80, a widow, and has an infected tooth. I worry when I don't see her car move for a day or so. She invites us in. It's a marvelous, breakable, fancy Christmas wonderland in her house. My children are in awe. Little Bit is scared of the dogs though and shakes for several minutes even after neighbor puts them out.

5:05 Home to pick up living room. Contact senator about UN treaty.

5:20 Sister is here. She eats with us every Monday night. She plays with Bee while I peel potatoes for dinner.

And that's it. S got home at 6:20 and we all ate and know how the evenings are. The girls didn't get into bed particularly early, but hopefully they will sleep well and be less teary tomorrow.

Also I think I've figured out why the housework doesn't get done.

And why it can all turn into a blur if we don't slow down and enjoy it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shh! While Bee is Sleeping...

...I thought I'd sneak on here!

I miss blogging so much!

Plus also I need to post at least twice in November.

So sad.

But let's just act like old friends and pick up where we left off like nothing ever happened, OK?


There are 2 1/2 more weeks until Christmas break from school. I can't wait. But knowing we have such a short amount of time is helping me be really firm in my commitment to get 'er done. Whining? No. Pleading? Don't hear you. Get busy minions!

Mama would like to NOT still be finishing this school year in July.

We went out of town for Thanksgiving to see some of the husband's family that we haven't seen in forever and when we got there...they weren't home. Yep. We had what you might call a little glitch in our communication. But it was OK, we went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, which was a first for me. Boy, do a lot of people eat out on Thanksgiving!

But it was delicious. And I did not spend hours in the kitchen.

Poor Sweetheart was sick while we were out of town. She had a cough--and it was just viral--but she ran fever every other day for almost a week. Speaking of weak, she was. Her little skinny body just can't handle fighting a sickness that long. She lost about 5 pounds which officially put her under 90 pounds. So we didn't do too much. A lot of relaxing in the hotel--some sightseeing. It was nice and we had fun. She finally got over the illness exactly 2 weeks after it first started.

Then she got hives. That's this week's ailment.

Bee seemed to enjoy her first Thanksgiving. She was listening to the waiter here.

She had sweet potatoes, some pumpkin pie, and table.

And now (brace yourself)...let's get caught up with the Family Revised in 1 minute or less. (I mean, I really don't know how fast you read, but still.)

Little Bit turned 9. Had American Girl Birthday (red stars). Got long awaited Molly doll.

Sweetheart went to a "tacky mini-golf" birthday party for Kate.

And Bee was cute and turned 6 months old.

Was that one minute?

And just because I want to remember it: We had just family over for Little Bit's party this year. So, I asked her what she wanted to eat for her birthday.

Cole slaw.

What kid asks for cole slaw for their birthday lunch? So we thought, "brisket goes with cole slaw." Well, S didn't have time to do that and someone told me HEB sells precooked briskets. Awesome!

Then I got there. And I saw the price.

And this is what our brisket turned into in a hurry:

Hope you all had a great November.

Hope someone is going to read this.

Hope to blog more next month.

It shouldn't be hard to beat TWO posts.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In November...

We are getting ready for Little Bit's 9th birthday this week! I can't believe she's going to be 9! We're just having a family party this year as she has had big friend parties for 2 years now. Family, and hopefully a trip to somewhere she has been waiting and waiting to go!

We are also trying to make plans for Thanksgiving. S and I LOVE Thanksgiving. It's the least stressful of all the holidays. You just go somewhere (or stay home) and EAT. Easy and simple! But our extended family never seems to know what they are going to do until right before. Trying to be proactive this year and make a plan.

My Dad has begun his chemo again. This time he's in a medical trial and recieving both a shot and a pill. The only real side effect so far has been some pretty bad mouth sores. I've made applesauce and pinto beans for him. They are better now and I'm thankful he feels so good still.

Other than that stuff, we just plug along each day doing school. We never get everything done, but we get a lot done each day. At some point in the day I just call it. "We're done!" You can only work so much.
Especially with all the help we get.

This precious little girl is such a joy. She learned to sit up last week. Just. Like. That. In one day. The other girls worked for weeks to learn that. She just up and did it.

She is such a distraction and everything she does is cute. In speaking of the recent (at the time, upcoming) elections, we had to discuss abortion at our house. Yes, my kids are sheltered. I told them, very basically and without a lot of detail, what abortion meant. They were horrified. Horrified! Little Bit marched right over to where Baby Bee was sitting and hugged her. "How could someone do that to a little baby?" She was indignant. I told them I didn't know....I had wanted all of them so badly I could hardly stand it. Later Little Bit asked, "But Mommy, what if the baby is born cute?" Exactly. How do you explain the sin in this world that allows abortion to be normal.

Thankful for my blessings. Even if I am 41 and tired most of the time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So I Think I Have Been Wrong

Actually, I'm pretty convinced of it.

And in the process, I believe I have probably confused my children for LIFE.

OK. Where do I start?

We've been at our new church for over a year now. Our old church was, shall we say, um...a bit more progressive than we were comfortable with. It was no longer anything like the church where we grew up. I will give more specific examples later. Our new church is very much more in line with our beliefs. (And with the Bible, in our opinion.)

Our new church makes us realize how really progressive our old church was.

Somewhere along the way, I missed learning this. Which would explain why I am just learning it at age 41.

Wow. I don't even know how to start explaining this to you.

So a few years ago, I started noticing a trend of Christians celebrating Old Testament festivals and feasts. Like Passover, for example. You can order things for these celebrations on Christian websites. The way Christians "do" these feasts and celebrations is a bit differently than how the Jewish people in the Old Testament did them, I think.

Honestly I don't know too much about why Christians would observe those days. My first thought was, "Well that's a strange thing to do----those things are part of the Old Testament and that doesn't apply to us as Christians." It has become trendy to do so, however.

And there is more to it than just celebrating something from the Old Testament---which New Testament Christians did not do. There's also the fact that it's all mixed up and crazy. This article I found on google will highlight what I's the taking of an old Jewish feast and mixing it up with Christian beliefs. It's assigning new "religious" meanings to traditions that may or may not have even been part of the original feast as ordained by God.

Basically, people are making up a holiday here.

The New Testament mentions nothing about Christians celebrating Passover. Or even a hybrid form of it. So should we be doing that?

So just know that those thoughts were swirling in my head.

THEN, I started hearing about how Christmas and Easter should have no religious significance.

What? How sacrilegious! How unheard of! Why would you take Christ out of Christmas? Why would you make the Easter Bunny more important than Jesus Christ?

Seriously, the whole idea of celebrating these holidays with no religious significance at all floored me.

This is the very thing I have fought against for many years!! We, as a new family, with very little thought to the consequences, started off doing things just as they had been done when we were growing up. We hunted eggs. The Easter Bunny left treats. Santa visited. We read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas....on and on. That's how our little family started doing things when Sweetheart was born.

But then, I started to feel guilty. I mean, these traditions have pagan roots for goodness sake! I read. I learned. Hunting eggs? Bad. Christmas trees? Bad. Every single tradition seemed to have a pagan root. I didn't want my children growing up thinking it was all about eggs and candy and Santa and presents! I wanted them to know the "real" reason for the holidays.

I'm telling you what I thought here.

So for many years now (probably 6 years), I have worked to make the "real" meaning stand out while minimizing all the pagan stuff. I got Resurrection Eggs. We stopped dyeing eggs. I gave the girls Bibles and Bible covers for Easter treats instead of "bunny" stuff. We learned the names of Christ and made ornaments out of them and hung them on a tree. We decorated with more nativity scenes and less Santa. We learned all about Christ's final week. We did crafts. We read Bible passages. We made this a part of our homeschool. A part of our evenings. And very much a part of our celebrations.

And now I think that was wrong. I was wrong.

During the time I was working to overhaul our holidays to the "real" meaning, our old church started doing some things I wasn't comfortable with. In our old church, there is a large wooden cross beside the "stage" for lack of a better word. It sits there 365 days a year. It's like part of the building and I really didn't even notice it all that much. Then a few years ago, they started draping black cloth on it on Good Friday. Then it would change to white on Easter Sunday. There was purple in there too. I didn't know where all this was coming from so I came home and researched and found out it was all related to Advent. Advent is not something we grew up doing. Or celebrating. Or whatever. And I don't read about it in the Bible so it's not something we do. It's made up, in my opinion and there's too much symbolism to keep up with!

Then they started "the flowering of the cross." Everyone would bring fresh flowers and they wrapped chicken wire around the whole cross and stuck the flowers in on Easter Sunday during the worship service. Where are we getting this stuff from???? This in NOT in the Bible!! We started going out of town on Easter. It was easier than trying to explain all these things to the girls when we couldn't make sense of them ourselves.

Later they started having "Good Friday" services at the church. We did not attend. Everything was getting really, really religious. But not really biblical.

I stamped my foot (inwardly, of course) and said, "This stuff is not authorized in God's Word! The church should not be doing this stuff!"

But I forgot to look at our own house. I'm sharing this with you, dear blog readers, because I have brought you along on my journey to overhaul our holidays. And now I won't be doing things the same way because I have come to the understanding that these holidays--they aren't in the Bible either.

Just as Advent is not taught to us by Jesus, and we have no record of the apostles or first century Christians doing such things, neither is there authorization for making the birth of Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection into religious days. These holidays are NOT found in scripture.

Of course I have always taught my children that December 25th probably wasn't Jesus' real birthday. But if God wanted us to celebrate that day, that event, He would have given us instruction on how He wanted that done. And when!

Now don't get me wrong....Christ's birth and his death, burial and resurrection are events I am VERY thankful for!! We have been instructed to remember Christ's death, burial, and resurrection on the first day of the week when we meet together. We have not been given instructions about remembering Christ's birth.

It isn't that I think remembering these things is's that they are not religious celebrations ordained by God in His word.

Folks, we have made some stuff up here. And it's all confusing and mixed up with pagan stuff. It's a mess. Just like those new "Christian Passover" feasts. There is this constant struggle between secular and Christian and it needn't be! Christians don't need to waste their time fighting to "keep Christ in Christmas" because He hasn't asked us to celebrate it anyway!

Now, about celebrating Christmas with no religious significance. How freeing!! I feel a huge sigh of relief coming on. No longer do I need to struggle with this. Christmas is simply a day to get together with our family and loved ones and give each other gifts and enjoy a meal together. And that's it! That's all it needs to be!

I don't have to spend the weeks before Christmas doing a countdown where we read a scripture each night about the coming Messiah from the Old Testament prophets. We don't have to crack out the Resurrection eggs and have a devotional all week prior to Easter.

I can quit trying to make these celebrations all about God because He hasn't asked me to do that anyway!!!

Because these are not celebrations He commanded us to keep.

Do you feel the huge weight lifted off my shoulders?

Now hear me...we are stil going to celebrate Christmas and Easter around here. Easter has never been a really big one with us anyway. Christmas I love. Thanksgiving I love. We celebrate Independence Day too. There is nothing wrong with having a day set aside to spend with your family and enjoy food and fellowship and gift-giving.

But we will no longer be celebrating them as religious holidays. I hope I have made sense in my explanation of why.

Because now I have to explain this to my girls.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

In the Absence of Peer Pressure

I have so many things to share with you, including pictures of our camping trip and what's going on in our homeschool, etc.

But today my thoughts are on teenagers. You know, I have one of those. We like to refer to her as a "young lady" instead of a "teen" and I think she kind of likes that too. She knows that the word "teenager" was invented quite recently in history and that throughout most of time, people her age were called/treated as "young men and women."

But she's just on the edge of all that. She only turned 13 two months ago. She's still on the edge of childhood, really. Still content to play with her little sister (as they are doing right now), and yet able to take on a lot more responsibilities.

I worry sometimes about her maturity. I don't know why. I'll see a Facebook page of a girl around Sweetheart's age, and I'll flip through their pictures. They just seem so much more grown up than her.

But actually, I don't WANT my daughter to spend her time taking pictures of herself in the bathroom mirror with the caption, "wat y'all think?". I really don't.

So I'll think about how she still seems like such a little girl, and then I realize a few things:

1. This is what 13 looks like for her.
2. In 6 months, she'll be different.
3. I wonder what other 13 year olds would be like if they didn't have peer pressure causing them to act like they do.
4. I'd rather have a daughter who reads her Bible than posts pictures of herself on Facebook making stupid faces and spelling everything wrong.
5. Children today REALLY can't spell. I know a lot of it is on purpose, but not all of it!
6. Like, for example, the picture of food I saw today with the caption, "This is my favorite snake."
7. See what I mean?

Sorry, got off-topic there. The point is, Sweetheart is in transition mode. She's moving from childhood to young womanhood and it isn't an overnight change. Nor is it supposed to be.

Example? Last night we were walking out the door to go to church and she came around the corner carrying Bee and her American Girl doll. At the same time. That is just a perfect picture of where she is.

And like the morning that I needed to sleep in and Sweetheart came and got Bee from my room. When I got up, Sweetheart had Bee laying on her activity mat in the living room, while she made pancakes in the kitchen, while playing with Little Bit....all at the same time. She had everything in perfect control when I walked in.

This transition is interesting. And from what I see on Facebook and around me...I know we need to spend more time on Bible and less time worrying about what other "teens" are doing/wearing/talking about.

Oh, and definitely more time on spelling.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Patting Myself on the Back

I am so proud of myself! I made baby food!!

OK. So, as it turns out, "baby food" is just grown up food mashed or pureed up. I know that now.

Let me start over. I've had a baby in my 20s, a baby in my 30s, and now...a baby in my 40s. (That pattern stops here, by the way!) I am a MUCH wiser mommy in my 40s than I was in my 20s. Much.

Sweetheart ate baby food. The kind that comes in a jar. WAY longer than was necessary. I liked it because I knew she was getting a fruit, a vegetable, and a meat at supper. (That statement makes no sense to me now.) I didn't know or care what was in those little jars. It was baby food. It was made by Gerber. What could be wrong with that?

Plus, I worked back then. I barely cooked for US, much less the baby!

Flash forward 13 years. I have been a homemaker for 5 or 6 years now. I have learned a few things. And it seemed to me that making Bee's baby food would be no big deal.

First I had to make sure I was getting the right thing. Text: Dad, is the one on the bottom the acorn squash?

OK--so 40 doesn't equal wise ALL the time.

So this morning S cut an acorn squash in half for me and I baked it. I filled 2 ice cube trays with it.

Then this afternoon, my dad baked a sweet potato for her. I got another almost full ice cube tray from that. Along with bananas and apples from our countertop, she should be good to go for quite a while! (Especially since I'm not feeding her at every meal, or even every day---just whenever the time seems right.)

I know I could have (should have?) waited until she was 6 months old, but she's ready. I watched for all the cues. I tested her tongue thrust reflex. I let her chew on an apple slice in the feeder thingy. She's an eater now. Its all going well except for that unfortunate idea to give her some cold carrot to chew on for those sore gums....

Thankfully, she forgave me later. After she threw it across the room.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Family Weekend

Tonight we were off. And it felt really good! The last 3-4 Friday nights we've done a Bible study with some folks. That is really, really important. But tonight, several folks couldn't come and with Little Bit still getting over being sick, we begged off.

And had a night at home--just us! We watched a movie from the library (FREE!) and relaxed together.

Tomorrow--because it's a Saturday--we're going to the beach.

 It's finally off-season and we don't have to rush down there just to find a parking place. I love it when we get our beach back. I realize not everyone lives in Texas and some of you might be thinking, "The beach? In OCTOBER?" But tomorrow the high is 83 at the beach. We'll take the girls' long-sleeved rash guards and call it a day.

And--squeal!--we have to get all our camping gear out and organized and get ready for our camping trip! I can't wait. It's been a whole year since we went camping, due to a little addition to our family in May when it was perfect camping weather.

Yes, S tried to convince me to go in my last month of pregnancy. He's very funny. Actually I would have loved to have gone, but couldn't see how it was possible to duck and climb into and out of the tent or to get up off our air mattress. And the getting up to go to the bathroom in the night? Ug. Wasn't worth it.

Last year when we went I was really nauseated and remember being pretty grossed out by some of the food. Plus I was completely exhausted. I'll be more help this year. Able to lift things, and hey, maybe even take a few pictures. That one above is one of the only ones I have from last year's trip. We were pretty organized but now the Holiday family and we are going to be planning this from 2 different states. We'll see how we do.

We've never camped with a baby. We started camping when Little Bit was 2 or 3. Bee will be 5 months old when we go so this will be new territory for us.

But we got this:
There's no way she will fit on the air mattress with us all night. I think I can pull her on there to feed her in the night but if we want to be able to move at all, she needs a place of her own. Plus, when one of us rolls over the other one lifts up in the air. I could just see us launching Baby airborne in the night!
I wanted her down on the ground by us and not have to stand up and then bend over a pack and play to get to her. This little bed is just perfect. It has it's own air mattress and everything. I think she'll sleep well in it.

So there will be some "get ready for camping" prep this weekend too. But that's fun. WAY more fun than unpacking and cleaning up once we get home!

And looking back over this post I realize we sound kind of outdoorsy and adventurous and not at all like people who sit around in their living room every night. Ahem.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

**Slapping Forehead**

I blame Carisa!!!

A few weeks ago she put out a sweet call on Facebook for Blogger users to please turn off the word verification. When I saw a picture of what she was talking about, I agreed! Those dumb picture words are SO hard to read and get right. It makes it not even worth commenting!

I quick--in between doing several other things--checked my blog settings and oh no! My word verification was turned ON. I didn't really remember that. So, I turned it off. But, because of the tons of spammy comments I've been getting, I turned on comment moderation.

Now you need to know I have never used that feature before.

So when Carrie told me she had left a comment I texted back, "I didn't get one." I was thinking I would get an e-mail and somehow approve the comment that way.

Yep. Can we still blame sleep-deprivation at 4 months?

Tonight, S was looking at my blog and said, "I guess you've just about lost all your blog readers, huh?"

Betcha can't guess if the glass is half-empty or half-full for him, huh?

I said, "Yeah, I know. You really have to post more often to have readers."

Then....a thought slowly formed in my brain. something.....


I kind of had a bunch of comments waiting to be approved. Oops.

I'm on it now folks. I'm firing on all cylinders now!!!

(Thanks for the comments.)

(Sorry I didn't approve them.)

(I kind of didn't know where they were.)

(It's not really Carisa's fault.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Me and My Big Mouth

So lately I've felt convicted about eating out. Don't get me wrong--I love to eat out! Someone brings me a drink when my cup is empty, I eat food I didn't cook, and there is no clean up. What's not to love?

It's these stupid finances. We are in debt. I hate being in debt. It really bugs me. I mean, we have a mortgage and car payment--I'm not talking about those. In a perfect world we wouldn't have those either, but I consider those "normal."

I think it's these hospital bills looming over my head. I can't even make myself do the math to figure out what year we'll be through paying those off. Maybe the Lord will return before then. It's likely.

But there are some other smaller debts too and I just want to be out from under it all. I don't contribute a pay check to our family anymore. What can I do to help?

Yep. Save money. That's what a wife can do. Make each dollar stretch. Be frugal and make her man feel like a king on a pauper's budget. (Not that we have a pauper's budget--but you get what I'm saying.)

So now you know how I had the brilliant idea to stop eating out. Only I forgot to mention it to S.

THEN, I had a little look-see at our checkbook today and decided to bring it up.

Me: S, I think we should make a commitment to not eat out as much. I don't mean NEVER--because sometimes you just have to--but I mean almost never. We ate at home all the time when I was growing up. I think we could save SO much money.

S: I agree.

Wasn't that a great little conversation?

Well. It went on.

At the end of our discussion it had been determined that we would eat at home (we usually do all week but it's the weekends that kill us), and we would pack a lunch for S the night before so he could eat at the office and spend a little time studying for his sermons/Bible studies in the upcoming week instead of going to grab lunch on his lunch hour.

See what I did there? Killed 2 birds with one stone I did! He had just told me he needed to find more time in the week and now I found it for him! What a great wife!

It went on.

He told me he really needed me to help him in these areas:
1. Meals/lunches
2. Clothes ready to go each day.
3. Keep up with the house.



OK somewhere this conversation has gone awry. We seem to have gotten off course here! We are all discussing ways that WE could save money and WE would be so responsible and suddenly we're all talking about things Brenda needs to do to step up her housekeeping game!!!

I don't think that worked out to my advantage so much.


But, let me say this. Tonight after church, instead of going out with our folks from church like we usually do, we came home. We ate hot dogs and tuna sandwiches in our pajamas and had time to sit around and visit before bed. It was kind of nice. AND...I figure we saved about $15 just tonight. Cha-ching!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nobody Blogs on Saturdays

Do they? Well, this happens to be the time I can jump on here. Boy, having one more little kid really throws a kink in your blogging!

Tomorrow REAL FALL will come to Texas! Well, for a couple of days anyway. We decorated for fall at the beginning of September, but I haven't been able to burn my pumpkin spice candles because the ceiling fan keeps blowing them out. Welcome to Texas fall.

But tomorrow, and its already hit most parts of Texas, the cool front will be here and we will go to church in 50 degree weather. Can't wait!

Only...we don't exactly have anything to wear for that weather. Sweetheart especially has grown a bushel and a peck since last year. We just finished pulling all the tubs of clothes out of Little Bit's closet and they tried everything on. Sweetheart has 2 pair of pajamas, 2 sweatshirts, and 2 long sleeved shirts that fit.

I actually did find a dress I think will work for her tomorrow, but the only shoes she has are these.
Ladies Size 9. MY size! Good grief.
And I think we can all agree those are pretty chilly in 50 degree weather.

So we will head out in a bit to find more appropriate shoes for fall church wearing. Little Bit and I both have boots from last year that still fit for now so we're good.

And Bee has tights. OH she is going to look so sweet in those tights. :)

So I'm sneezing from pulling out all the clothes. I don't know why that always sets my allergies off but it does. I guess pulling the tubs out of the closet kicks up enough dust to do me in.

Next week we have to be SUPER DUPER REALLY AND I MEAN IT serious about school. It's our last full week until we go camping later this month and I want to feel a little caught up and further along before we take off on a vacation.

And for those of you who get annoyed when people type in call's how I talk. Really.

Back on topic, I need to rifle through the school shelf and make copies and get organized for the upcoming week o' education at our house. I must do this now while Bee is sleeping. And we're home.

Anyone else tired of running? (Shut up Suzanne-stay-home-for-2-weeks. I'm not talking to you.) We SO need to stay home more this week. For school to happen. For Mommy to not have a headache. For rest. For sanity.

I'm off to plan. Must have a plan.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Checking In

Thursday. I'm up too late. I've been wanting to blog so badly but my arms are full of fat sweet baby and I haven't figured out how to hold her, conduct school, assure that my husband has clean clothes and my family has food, and blog all at the same time.

But I'm working on it. Because I miss blogging. It's almost like I'm having a real conversation with grown-ups!

Which doesn't happen too often.

Which is why I was so chatty with the optometrist today. She probably just thought I'd had a bit too much caffeine.

I hadn't, by the way. I was just happy to be visiting with an adult!

So my brain is full--just chock full--of stuff to tell you!


  • I had Freebirds for lunch today. I really like that restaurant.
  • Sweetheart and I both need new glasses.
  • I'm a preacher's wife. I had my first pull-preacher's-wife-to-the-side-and-ask-hard-questions-of-her moment this week.
  • I did OK answering. I think.
  • Baby Bee has a tooth.
  • She's 4 months old.
  • She looks like this:

And this:

Not sure where she gets the big mouth from. Hmm. 

Anyway, there's more!

  • Sweetheart is such a neat kid. She still plays and enjoys life but you can have a real-life grown-upish conversation with her too. Thirteen is pretty neat so far. 
  • Little Bit cleaned Bee's room today (Translation: cleaned part of MY room) and now I'm happy when I walk in there. It was pretty covered in clean laundry and other stuff. She rocks. 
  • School is going better since I had a conference with the principal earlier this week. He helped me figure out some priorities and let some other stuff go. 
  • Looking forward to going camping next month! It's been a year since we went camping. We're going to buy one of these for Bee.
I guess that's enough for now. If you know me in real life, you know I could have easily fit all of these topics into one conversation. I am THAT talented. 

But it's better for you that you read it instead of try to keep up with my crazy talk. 

I'll try to return with more cohesive thoughts next time--no promises. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fun Fridays

It just sort of worked out this way. Every other Friday, we will be meeting with friends to do 2 fun things.

One thing is our Keepers of the Faith club. Last year, my girls and the girls from our friends the Holiday family formed a Keepers at Home club. It was awesome!

Our girls and the Holiday girls showing off their club work for Pawpaw Holiday last year. 
But the Holidays moved a little over a week ago. What would we do about our club now???

Well, before we knew they were going to move, Carrie had already asked about maybe joining our club. it's Carrie's family and us. Which, even though we miss our friends, is really nice. I am very glad we didn't have to stop the club because we all really liked it. (And the Holiday family found some clubs in their new hometown they can look into.)

(We still really miss them though.)

So last Friday we had our first meeting of our "new" club. We just sort of explained what the club was about to the girls, talked about some of the badges they will be earning this year, and did a craft. Oh, and I served awesome brownies that looked like meatloaf. Yum!

 Somehow I missed getting a picture of Emily. We had the girls make the first page in a scrapbook for their Keepers activities. Now we just have to be really good about taking pictures at our meetings so they will have stuff to scrapbook about!
 Matt kept Bee busy by reading her a Lego catalog or something. All I know is I overheard, "See? That's the BAD guy. We don't like him!" So, she was really getting an education during the meeting! :)
And when she got tired of Legos, we found a way to contain her.

The other fun thing we will be doing every other Friday is science. A friend from our old church is homeschooling her daughter and niece. This is their first year homeschooling and the girls are really de-toxing from public school. Working together is seen as cheating. She asked them to write 5 sentences in their journal about their favorite color. She told them, "write what you think. you cannot do this wrong" and they were just paralyzed.

Well, we are both using Apologia's Elementary Anatomy and Physiology this year. I really wanted to make sure the first meeting was fun. They need to know school can be fun! (And you can still learn!)

We did the first experiment together, which is to make an edible cell.

Anything involving jello and candy sounds like fun, right?

And then, just to kick things off--we traced their bodies and had them glue cut outs of their organs in them.

So, we will get together twice a month to do the experiments and other fun stuff with them. Oh, and go on some field trips too.

Looking forward to these two fun things this school year!

Oh! And H-Mama, I have a fun field trip planned for us too when we get to Japan, OK?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Day of Productivity...For a While

Yesterday was Monday and I was so determined to start a fresh new week and get ALL our school work done WHILE taking care of Baby Bee and the house.

What can I say? Sometimes I have delusions.

But we really did have a good day for the most part.

Bee was in a good mood. It was chilly so she opted for her pink pants.

After breakfast, we all did science together. We finished up Lesson 1 in our book so now we are right on track again. Science is another post, however.

Then we started in on math. Math has to be completed early around here or there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth. Sweetheart was working in her room and Little bit worked with me at the coffee table. She's working on this with the door open. It was SUCH nice weather!

Bee was content to play for a while. Which is much easier than one-handed teaching with a baby on your lap.

And don't let this picture fool you...she only slept 10 or 15 minutes at a time all day! I kept awaiting the glorious 2-3 hour nap so we could finish school, but alas...I waited in vain.
So we plugged on. Sweetheart labored diligently at her desk.

And then entertained the baby while I read her read-aloud book to her. She was learning to multi-task!

Sometime during the course of the morning, Baby Bee rolled over. We were all out of the room and came back to find her on her stomach, smiling. I consider that an accomplishment just as important as math!

At lunch, we made foil hats for the baby. pretty much went downhill after that. We kept waiting for nap time that never came. I told the girls to do what they could without me. That would be piano practice for Sweetheart and Explode the Code for Little Bit. 

And the rest of the day was just trying to juggle stuff and the baby at the same time. She was in a great mood--just FULLY AWAKE all day! Finally I caved and called Grandma to come hold her while we finished some things up.

Then my sister came by after work to play with the baby, but the baby wanted to eat so my sister was left frying okra on the stove while I fed her. Therefore, I had to feed said sister because if you help cook, you get to eat you know.

We ended up finishing everything but spelling. That's OK. I'm giving us a little more time to get used to this year's curriculum and then we'll work on adding those last 2 subjects in (spelling for both and grammar for Sweetheart). Spelling is important, but it can wait until the wee one is on more of a schedule, you know?

And today was some the same and some different. Every day is just a juggling act, that's all there is to it.

Also? I know in a few months things will be nothing like they are right now.

And I know that I am blessed.