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Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh How Come Babies Grow Up So Fast?!

Babies Grow Too Fast!

My baby is growing soo fast!! I got a little camera happy today.

Jersey Cream

Recently we decided to start buying whole milk from a dairy. The milk comes with 18% cream on top!! The other day I tried whipping it and wouldn't you know....it did what it was supposed to do - wha la!! Whipped Cream. As you can see, the kids were quite pleased with their breakfast.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Working Mom Blues and the case of the sprouty mutant snake bake

Today was a peaceful day. I woke the baby up to nurse her when I got home from work and she was very happy for the meal. Babies grow up so fast and I'm thankful for the privilege of having nursed 5 of them. The idea of weaning her makes me feel gloomy and so I try not to think about it much.
I awoke to the smell of an unusual lunch. My husband and daughter had rolled out bread dough and filled it with cheese, venison and sprouts. It was long like a mutant snake curled up baking on a cookie sheet. I was amazed that they spent so much time working on it. They seemed rather pleased with their culinary concoction.
After lunch I requisitioned the trampoline from Super Catman to try and nap. He and his brother were not at all happy about this. The sun was shining and I couldn't imagine going back into my gloomy bedroom when it was such a beautiful day.
Since I never did sleep, I decided to try and run to the lake. It was almost too good to be true. Moonbeam nursed and was asleep in record time. Super Catman was only too happy to reclaim the stolen trampoline and didn't feel like swimming. Art dog was preparing to go off fishing with his big brother. Faster than you can say "pumpkin and pumpernickel popovers" I flew out the door and was swimming strokes up and down the lake. It was the perfect weather and only one fisherman in a far corner was to be seen. It was very refreshing to get to do that in between 12 hour night shifts.
My husband drove me to work so I could get a little extra nursing time and another nap. What a truly great man he is. Its so nice not to worry about that hour long drive when I don't sleep that good in between shifts.
Lately, God has really been dealing with me about believing Him for provision. I've been feeling like He's been daring me to trust Him more. Rather than lean on my own ideas about what we can do, I need to remember that His provision is limitless. There is no poverty mentality in Him. There is always more than enough to supply for and to overcome every situation.
The only squabbling I am aware of was regarding the mutant ground squirrels who have been casing our home out. I have been trying to convince the children that they are a lot like the ones in the sci fi movie "cats" except they are not mutant cats, but mutant ground squirrels. I told them not to turn their backs on those conniving critters but I'm not sure that they believe me. Every time my mothers day petunia plants try to bloom they (or the deer) eat the heads off. Yes, its just like a sci fi. Even now, deep in earthen burrows, I am sure that they are conspiring against me. I have not shared these concerns with my coworkers here. They wouldn't understand. Its best that the hospital supervisor does not share conspiracy theories about ground squirrels for fear they (the hospital workers) may lose what confidence in her they may have had. I alone must bear this mental burden.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Working Mom Blues and the case of the aliens who kept me from exercising

I am very excited to be participating in a long distance swim in about a month. It has been a dream of mine to tone up and do something like this for years. Particularly, I have wanted to do this swim for years. I felt like Cinderella on the way to the ball when my husband gave me his blessing and even drove my application to the mailbox.Soon I was to discover, that there was a secret plot by outlandish aliens to stop me from getting buff and diligently training. Here's what they did :

On Monday, I played volley ball with the girls. Despite the cold, damp rainy weather the aliens had arranged for, we showed up anyway. Just as I was learning the essentials of setting and spiking a ball, an alien ray zapped my calf and pulled the muscle. I hobbled after the ball as much as I was able for the remainder of the game. It was embarrassing and distressing, but I kept a stiff upper lip. When I drove home, I could hardly get out of the truck. Aliens had froze my leg in its position and I had to take a hot bath to melt the effects of the ice ray gun.
On Tuesday, I had to rest because of the pain in my leg. I could have sworn I saw them high fiveing each other in their space ship in the sky.
On Wednesday, I exercised like a maniac because they were out of town getting their flying saucer worked on. I did a lot of running, hiking and even got into the lake and trained with my friend Silverbell.
On Thursday, I discovered that they had visited me during the night. They had me all tied up in knots. I couldn't get out of bed without unfolding myself. I was back to limping and hobbling. I took the boys fishing and played a little light volley ball.
On Friday, I thought things would get better. It finally looked like I would get in the lake for some good training. The weather cleared and the sun came out. Hurriedly, I rushed the boys along. I almost couldn't believe my good fortune. No one was there. The sun was out. I had an hour or more with some one watching the baby. Things were looking up. I made the mistake of laying in the sun for 15 minuetes to warm up. Then I made a pit stop to some yonder bushes. Then I fiddled with my new persciption goggles. These were all distractions that I am sure the aliens are some how responsible for. Just as I got into the lake, dark clouds ensued and it began pouring on me. A bunch of ladies and little kids showed up in the rain looking hopeful. My window of time was elapsing and I didn't want to get caught out in the lake if lightening started. Disgusted with myself, I wimped out. As the boys and I headed up the trail, the rain began to slow and eventually stopped. By the time I was home and in the shower the sun had peeked out again. I think they are trying to manipulate the weather and possibly my psyche.
I did get a long snuggle and nursing time with my baby and I read Cat man some stories today too. I even played a little volley ball with the kids, though the aliens smugly burnt a hole into the ground with their eyes and twisted my ankle as I ran for the ball. Though they have successfully sabotaged my attempts to train this week, I have at least enjoyed quality time with my kids.
Now that I am working for a few days, they have nothing to worry about. They know there is food all over the hospital so there is little they have to do. Does anybody have any idea how I can elude these pesky green men? Oh for the fresh cool water and the feeling of a good swim. I am beginning to remind myself of my old dog, Zinc, (God rest his soul) who stiffly hobbled along to the end. He couldn't keep up but he tried valiantly. He had this three legged run thing going that my running on Wednesday closely resembled. Is there no end to these alien assaults?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy 18th Birthday to "the son of my womb" and "does my butt look big in these pants?"

That phrase tends to disturb him. I'm not for sure why. Possibly because I say it in a corny tone mostly to bug him. I'm so proud that my son is 18 and a fabulous man! Yup! He's all grown, aw shucks! I can truly say I have never known a child to man who has consistently loved and served God like him. He's an inspiration to me. He loves God with all his heart and hears Him in incredible ways. In all the ways I could measure success in raising a child - this would be it. Because He loves God, I have succeeded in passing on the greatly prized supernatural seed of faith.

Today I was feeling a little grumpy. When I got out of bed, my body hurt so bad I wanted to cry. Yesterday Mist, I and another lady who I am considering naming "Skippy Jon Jenn" after my favorite book character "Skippy Jon Jones" ran over 3 miles with me and we walked at least 2. Then I swam the perimeter of our little near by lake with my friend Silverbell. On top of that I hiked in to the lake and out twice because our family went there later on. The kids wanted to play volleyball and I did a little of that with them that day too. As you may imagine, I was and still am a little bit stiff, sore and in need of somebody to ask me why on earth I tried doing all that in one day.

Towering mountains of smelly dishes awaited me this morning. It was my 18 year old's dishes day and I couldn't possibly leave them for him on his birthday. I was making lasagna (my 18 year old's favorite meal). Moonbeam was fussy and dirty. I had to stop to give her a bath in the sink before I could wash the evils lurking on the counter. The floor in there was full of crumbs and needed sweeping. Somebody brought up a dozen water bottles or more that needed washing and most likely needed to be soaked in a disinfecting vinegar solution. A mound of dirty dish rags reminded me I should get the next load of laundry going.
Despite my blaring praise and worship, I felt a bit annoyed and out of sorts. My husband was in the other room reading "Calvin and Hobbes" comics lauging gleefully, oblivious to it all. Don't get me wrong, my husband worked hard today. He just finished a great project that will make us a good income. Its just that at the time he wasn't busy and I was. He wandered into the kitchen to give me some helpful words of advice on my cooking and choice of clothing. Unfortunately, I didn't take it well at all. Some time around then, my daughter wandered into the kitchen "does my butt look big in these jeans?" she asked innocently. My husband and some of the kids had had a grand old time helping her put on an extra pair of jeans over the top of the ones she already had on. Then they stuffed a pillow into the er.... back side laughing hysterically.
This morning when I was praying, I was reminded to have a good attitude while serving my family. Unfortunately I do not always display it. As time went on, Art dog offered to put the lasagna together for me and did a great job. Super Cat man rinsed the bottles after they soaked. I took a leisurely nap while nursing Moonbeam. Then my husband came and got me to take me out on a 4-wheeler ride, just the two of us. The day really turned around fast.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

trauma and drama at the local grocery mart

My life seems to be going by in a whirlwind. Perhaps this is because I am really enjoying the summer, my family and my friends. Couple this with not working a lot and you have a pretty good life minus money. I would never trade nursing my baby for a weekly t-bone. Nor would I trade home schooling my kids for a yearly vacation to some tropical place (though I have to fight a jealous bug every time my nurse friends go). I wouldn't trade a hike with my kids or a swim at the lake for a fancy boat or a nice car. Don't get me wrong, they're all things I desire, but my priority is my time. Life is fleeting. Kids grow fast. Being at home is a luxury that many people never know.
That said, I will debrief with you all now of the untold horrors of the local grocery mart. Had I known that I got out of bed on the wrong side, I would have gotten back in and started over. No little birdie was to warn me of the upcoming grief. If only I would have snuck off a little longer and prayed harder this morning, perhaps I may have avoided the agony.
The hour long ride to town was disturbing in the least. I forgot to eat lunch and I think my blood sugar was a little low. Cramps plagued me reminding me that my monthly "friend" was on her way for a visit. For some strange reason, I wondered if my husband may be getting his monthly cycle because he seemed a little irritable (or was it me?).
We had planned to start a new tradition driving the other way to town so we could bring left over’s to my husbands brother who is a hungry bachelor. Even though its a little further, there is a dairy outlet in that town and people get fresh milk there. The idea was to begin buying raw farm fresh milk and have the chance to sow a little time and food into my husbands brother. In theory, it was a great plan that would make us all a little healthier. In reality, I felt a little more emotionally taxed. The dairy seller was a nice older gentleman who all but kept us a gunpoint to get more conversation out of us. I do love people, but its so hard to get everything done on a once a week trip to town with a baby when you have to have multiple conversations with many friendly people.
After we barely escaped the milk man, we continued on into the next town. Wait! My bladder wouldn't permit it. Remember she is almost as demanding as Miss Belly Fat. So we stopped at a gas station and of course saw somebody else we knew who wanted to visit. On to the next town we drove.
At the next town, my husband dropped me off at the local consignment store with hopeful bags of clothing and two hungry little kids. Its a good thing that McDonalds is next to Porgies. I have had a love hate relationship with "Porgie" the man who runs it. He is very picky about what he takes. He literally won't let you bring anything into his store that's not on a hangar. He always eyes me suspiciously (or perhaps that's in my imagination). Despite my hour long drive in, he will only accept a golden 15 items per week. Under normal circumstances, I would poo poo his shop and shop at Wal-Mart, but Wal-Mart is 2 1/2 hours away and I haven't graced the doors in months. This is survival, after all, and I'm not working extra so I can spend money there. As I was saying, you must jump through many hoops, but in the end, you may rejoice to find you have a $10 credit on file! With that credit, I can find fun clothes. I can get a kid a pair of jeans. I have spending power!!! Just the thought of getting to go there makes the trip to town more fun, especially when the clothes budget is $0. At Porgies, I looked for shoes for my daughter. I was sad not to find any, but I amazingly saw a pair of ugly purple and black sandals in my husbands foot size. I eyed them greedily. When he was outside I reasoned with him (perhaps by reverse psychology) to come in and try them on. They looked like they had only been worn perhaps one summer long. "They're purple" my husband stated, trying to keep a stiff upper lip. "You've been saying you needed sandals for a long time" I reminded him coaxingly "and they're only $2.50". "Do you have any credit?" He asked hoping with all hope I didn't. "Nine bucks I proudly beamed". He poked and prodded them (as if examining a used car before one speaks to the seller). He gingerly tried them on. Cinderella couldn't have fit any better into her glass slipper. Reluctantly, he gingerly carried the purple and black shoes to Porgies counter. He's never bought anything purple to wear nor has he shopped a second hand store for footwear. Being home more stretches a person.
By the time I got to the grocery store, I was feeling exhausted. The baby and my 6 year old piled into the "car cart" and away we went. At almost every aisle, I saw somebody who I knew and many of them wanted to yaak. I smiled and nodded while Moonbeam fidgeted. Catman began driving the car cart into produce, meat products and whatever he could find to accidentally ram into. He even hit a pedestrian (me). Since I'm living on a budget, I tried valiantly to keep track of how much I was spending. Just as I'd have it figured out, somebody would break my concentration and begin a story about their garden, their grandchildren and subjects normally discussed in grocery store aisles. I was of course, happy to see them. I loved hearing their stories. I just couldn't focus well on how much money was in my cart. Couple two antsy children and the equation spells for disaster. By the time I was half way through the store I just started dumping items into the cart that were on the list or really good bargains. I knew better, but I figured I'd just add it all up at the end. When the end came, the baby was fussing. I looked for a semi private place to go through everything. Its just a little embarrassing to be counting up stuff and run into somebody. I hid somewhere around the condoms and anti diarrheal medicine. I figured most people didn't want to be seen there. I got out a cell phone calculator and tried adding it. The baby kept fussing. My husband called saying he was in the parking lot. I suggested he come in and help me add, but he mumbled some such drivel about guarding the new tires we had just purchased.
With a "hope for the best" "don't think about it" mentality, I strolled to the check out. Maybe I'd turn out to be within budget after all. Maybe there would be money left over. Nope. I was way over the limit. When I got to the truck, I considered making a big scene in front of the grocery girl in an attempt to plead insanity. Patiently, and maybe a little frustrated, my husband reexplained to me the need to stay within our budget. I tried hard to think of good excuses and ways to justify my over spending. How do you feed five kids and buy healthy foods and live on a budget? Between you and me, perhaps if my "monthly friend" wasn't on her way to visit it wouldn't seem so impossible. “Why’d you buy these ugly purple sandals?” one of the kids inquired as she put away groceries. “They’re for Dad” I replied. “They’re purple” the child replied. “Their mine” my husband responded. Then the house got real quiet…………..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

under my nose

Its a good thing that I recently posted on "Being a True Friend" because I would find that I was in need of hearing my own message!!

If you are not a woman (or girl) you are reading this at your own risk. This posting is for females only! If you are easily offended, well its not for you either.

That said, I will tell you my version of our community pig roast. Every year about this time, Narley Gilson (I have named him this because he's a really cool guy) puts on a pig roast. Narley digs a big pit and cooks a pig. All the neighbors show up with a pot luck dish and play volleyball, horse shoes and congregate. In early years, I had missed this event. This was partly due to my phobia of people and partly because I worried that I wouldn't fit in well being a non partying type of gal. Later, I realized that both ideas were rubbish and joined in the fun. Unfortunately, my volley ball skills were not up to par. I made all kinds of embarrassing mistakes with the entire community as spectators. With each game, I thought maybe I'd shake the bad playing, but on the contrary, it worsened.
The first game I stepped on an older man's shoe while trying to get the ball. I almost ran into him. On the next game, I almost hit the ball, but accidentally missed and it hit me in the boob. Had I been flat chested, it wouldn't have been so bad. If you have ever read "Super Boob Woman To the Rescue", you will understand that while I am nursing, I am anatomically challenged. Eventually, it began to dawn on me that quite possibly I wasn't going to be improving my game that day. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I missed the game point of the very last game. Oh the agony! I ask myself why I need to play at these events. Why not just watch? I have this energy that needs to be expended somehow. If only I could just channel it in a little more talented direction.
My friend Mist, however, played like a hurricane. She was voted "most talented player". She made such amazing shots that we all were shocked and awed by her incredible talent. Graciously she lied and said "you played good". I don't know how she kept a straight face, but hey, she loves me anyway. My husband loves me with a more brutal kind of love. He didn't comment, though I fished heavily. This was enough to know that he wasn't going to lie and he knew better than to say anything else.
A lot of things go on around me, unknowns to me. These things can happen right under my nose. These things include fast moving volley balls, and messes in random rooms of my house. The other day I was informed that our son, Catman, was picking his nose during prayer. I asked him why he was picking his nose while we were praying. He said "that's the only time that people don't yell at me to stop". Yes, even bugger picking goes on unknowns.
The pig roast was incredible fun. The man above in the blue apron is the legendary "Narley Gilson". The volley ball server is my friend "Silver Bell". Today I did the missions report in church. I feared people would point and whisper "bad player", but nobody did. They all smiled (possibly hiding their snickers). After that, we attended a birthday party barbecue. It was a very busy day. I went running tonight to debrief from it all. Perhaps its best that things are going on underneath my nose without my knowledge. After all, knowledge can be burdensome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Carpet Installation Pics

Working Mom Blues and the Case of the Soggy Nocturnal Reptillian

I should have known that since everything was going right for me at home, everything would go wrong for me other places. Since I can't blog about my life as a nurse due to confidentiality, I have decided to share with you the pre-cursor to a really bad night shift.
"I want you to take a nap before you work tonight" my husband informed me. Taking a nap before work for me is stressful. Why is taking a nap stressful? Because while I am laying there I am obsessing about what I need to get done before I have to leave. "Did I cook the family a good meal?" "Did I leave the laundry reasonably caught up?" "Did I pack my self some healthy meals and snacks?" "Did I inform my friends of any changes in plans due to this shift?" "Are there any choking or old food hazards on the floor that the baby will have access to?" On and on my mind goes until it spins up tighter than one of those balls at the end of a rope that you spin around a pole. You get the idea.
As I finally lay there, having got as much as I could possibly get done, I begged my mind to take a short mental vacation. Just as she was leaving for a tropical island, the phone rang. It was a telemarketer. "Don't give me the phone when its a telemarketer" I could hear my husband informing the kids. Next the phone rang and it was a bill collector. The third time I was about to sleep and the phone rang, I was beginning to get a clue that this may be a bad omen of things to come. Finally as I obediently dozed off to sleep, my 6 year old came into the room. "Mom I don't mean to disturb you, but how do I get this bleeding to stop?". Remember that I am an emergency room nurse and making a statement like that caused me to almost spring off the bed and begin CPR. In reality, it was a microscopic few drops of blood from a scrape and I advised him to wash with soap and water while rolling over in bed. By now, the baby wanted to start nursing again. I am always nervous about falling asleep with her in my bed because she is crawling around these days and I don't want her to fall.
That next morning, Moonbeam was again a challenge. Though tired, I am constantly thinking "don't sleep too hard" "Remember you have to stay awake and find somebody to take her when your done nursing". I put imaginary toothpicks in my eyelids. By early afternoon I was feeling quite stuffy. It was a beautiful day and I was stuck inside having to sleep. I got out of bed and threw open the windows. Then I laid there pouting "how come I have to stay in here?" my inner brat pouted. Finally, trying to appease her, I grabbed a blanket and my mother's famous orthopaedic pillow that is supposed to guarantee you happy dreams of fluffy sheep and headed out to the trampoline. The sun was out and I imagined I could bask in the sun possibly working on my tan. Just as I settled in like a happy reptilian, one of the kids brought Moonbeam out for a snack. Visions of my baby bouncing off the trampoline kept an eye open. After the children had taken her away and I was just about to catch some sunny zzzz's, the sun went behind a cloud. I got cold. Art dog brought me a blanket. My silky orthopaedic pillow had no traction on the trampoline and it slipped away from my head. Suddenly it started to rain. By now, I wanted to start bawling. I covered up my head with the blanket and ridiculously refused to acknowledge that I was being rained on. I began to wonder what time it was. Finally the sprinkle stopped and a drunken mosquito began to precariously drive inebriated circles around my head. It obviously couldn't handle drinking the fresh rain well because it was quite belligerent.
Just as I fell asleep, it was time to get ready for work. My bad day had only begun...................................

Monday, June 15, 2009

Being a True Friend

Hebrews 10:23-25 (New King James Version)
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching

Today was an exciting day for me. It didn't have much to do with the house being a disaster because the contents of our living room are overspilling into the dining room due to the new carpet installation. Don't get me wrong - its thrilling to have a plushy carpeted living room in place of living years on particle board. It also wasn't because my boys caught a mess of fish yesterday on their trek into the wilderness and my 17 year old (soon to be 18 this month) finished cooking them for me (though I was pretty happy about that too). It wasn't because my daughter did a huge variety of chores (though I am appreciative), or because my son "Art Dog" washed towering loads of ornery dirty dishes with a good attitude (what mother wouldn't be proud?). No, this was a day I never imagined I'd see. One I dreamed about, but scarcely hoped to live out.
Today, I met my friend Mist, and we increased our running routine. We're covering almost 5 miles of terrain and running over 3 miles in 1 1/2 mile stints. A month or two ago I truly didn't believe I could run a straight mile. This was a landmark event worthy of celebration.
As we jogged along chit chatting about children and husbands and housework, Mist said something that shot like a bullet into my subconscious. It was such a profound statement, and I don't think she even realized how much it hit me. Possibly because I was already a little blue and oxygen deprived from huffing and puffing. She also may not have noticed because I think my legs were trying to argue with her "you think we're some spring chickens?" They cackled. She kept on running not hearing their snide remarks. As I was saying, she off handedly was telling me about how she had the temptation to be jealous of her friends at times. She told me that instead, she focuses on using those things she would normally feel jealous of to inspire her. In other words, she aspires to be like the women she may feel envy toward. She uses the jealous feelings in a healthy way to make herself a better person.
As we kept on running (and I was near collapsing), my legs kept on making these snide comments to hers "does the word "slave driver" mean anything to you?". I told them to stop being so rude. I worried she may hear their callous remarks, but she didn't seem to.
As I was saying, as we kept on running, we discussed how men can be very competitive. In the same way, they can use that God given competitiveness to be inspired to be the best they can be. Sadly, some use it to tear down each other.
We were really on to something now. She said that in her friendship with Elasta Woman, she felt secure. Elasta Woman doesn't require anything of her. They have worked through and continue to work through feelings of jealousy toward each other. Because of the ongoing prayer and energy they put forth toward this, they have an incredible friendship. I could be jealous of the kind of friendship they have (but instead I chose to feel inspired). Its the whole David and Jonathon type deal.
Our conclusion was that we have to choose to feel inspired by one another and we have to choose to resist and pray through unhealthy feelings of envy. Wow!
As we came to the end of our run, she began sprinting saying "I feel like I really got a work out today". My legs lagged a few feet behind hers booing and making cat calls. Horrified, I begged them to stop embarrassing me with their air of poor sportsmanship. They kept moving, though they refused to sprint "don't forget that blondies legs have ten years on us" they moaned. I promised them a hot shower when we got home if only they could keep their opinions to themselves.
Without Mist, I would never be doing what I am doing. I would still be at home afraid to run for fear of becoming a mountain lion happy meal.
On Sunday, I wore a size 10 skirt and for the first time didn't have to worry about concealing spare tires under an extra layer of blouse. I don't expect to ever fully keep up with Mist. To be honest, I would be disappointed if I ever did. She's a beautiful, blond 22 year old with an amazing physique. I'm a 36 year old brunette mother of 5. Mist has inspired me to be the best that I can be. Her friendship has so enriched my life.
Driving home, I realized that if there is any one good and true thing that I can do for my friends its to inspire them. I need to provoke them to be the best they can be for God. It is an art to exhort a person without cultivating jealousy or resentment. It is truly great friend who can rule competition without letting it rule them. I may not have it all figured out, but I am learning a little more daily that I want to be a true friend.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

One Cute Little Dish to Wash

Here's One Cute Little Dish to Wash! Now about her dad.........

Some very exciting things have been happening in our neck of the woods! Every time my husband preaches, he gets in a really good mood. I think it has something to do with him going down in the basement with his Bible and being down there for hours. Possibly it's the absence of noisy children and a nagging wife, or possibly its a God kind of thing. Whatever the reason, he's been in a good mood for days now.
He's a gifted, multi-talented man. He can do just about anything. I tell people that he's kind of like the guy in "Catch Me if You Can". Don't get me wrong, he's not a counterfeit money con artist, just multi talented. When we learned to snowboard, he was taking black diamonds and doing jumps the first couple of days out. When he was in aviation school, he was at the top of his class and even learned to fly in a tail wheel aircraft. When he's needed jobs in years past, he's created them. Any interest he's had, he just started doing it and was naturally good. He's the kind of guy you don't want to try something new with (if your competitive) because you can just assume, he's going to be better.
Any way, we do all our own home improvement to keep costs down. Of course my husband can do anything and so he bought carpet for our living room. He's been dreading putting it in for over a month now. We bought it and it just sat down in the basement for what seemed like eons. I had given up the idea of ever seeing it unrolled. Today was the big day! He put it in! Very Exciting. Photos will be sure to follow.
Yesterday, we went for a bike ride. He was in a really good mood. He rode circles around me (literally). I think he might have been showing off a little but don't tell him I told you that. He was always good at trick riding in high school.
For years I've been wanting to participate in a long distance swim. We haven't seen eye to eye on it in years gone by. Yesterday, he looked on the Internet with me and actually drove my registration to the mailbox for me so it would make the deadline!
I don't know what I'm going to do now that my husband is in such a great frame of mind. Not that he's normally a grumpy person or anything. He's just been doing these amazing things that I hoped about and waited for for a long time. I don't know what to do with myself with so many good things going on. I usually thrive in adversity and there's not much to be found these days. I have nothing to pout about. Nothing to be mad about. Nothing to be frustrated over. Can I be happy without having something to be trying not to be upset about?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

too old, too grey to lie

The Days have begun to go by at lightening bolt speed. Its summer and I am free from Home School these days. Gone are the mornings of getting up early to have to get a head start in school and devotions. They have been replaced with getting up early to go running, devotions and who knows what else. I'm just as busy as I was during the school year, but in different ways.
Ministry opportunities never cease to come. There has been a real unity among our women's group. Bible Study nights at our home have been rich. Once every month or two my husband speaks at our little community church. He has gotten a lot of positive feedback from those Sundays. I've been spending a lot of time with Kiree, the neighbor girl as well. Her mom has been ill for a long time. In the last month, Kiree's mom has broken bones twice. Kiree spends a lot of time caring for her. This is why its been so good for Kiree to spend time with our zany family. She gets out for fun and we all enjoy her company.
Now for what I have been dying to tell you all about! Recently I found out about a dynamic missionary type conference a few hours away. Immediately, I started making plans to invite my friends and take some of my kids. My husband put a stop to all of my enthusiasm reminding me that we didn't have good enough tires or a good enough budget to do this. Just when I thought it wasn't going to happen, my friend Elasta Woman volunteered to drive. She has new tires and good gas mileage. Though my husband was quite skeptical about my being able to go somewhere "cheaply", he is fully persuaded that Goat Girl and Elasta Woman can. He was getting a good laugh out of the idea of these women helping me to cheaply go. I didn't care because I thought he was going to buy it. Well would you believe, just as his heart was softening I got an email from the organizers only to find out that I was disqualified from going due to my age?! That's right! The conference is targeted for ages 18-30. They emailed me to tell me that ONLY ages 18-30 may go. I began to imagine drastic measures. A bottle of hair dye, some pig tails and teenie bopper clothes flashed in my mind. Surely with a little dye I could pass for 30! Elasta Woman laughed "What are they going to do? Card you at the door?" The idea of lieing to get into a Christian Conference where you are supposed to grow in your relationship with God seems like an oxymoron. Because of this, I have gallantly volunteered to watch Elasta Womans baby so she and Goat Girl can go together. Yes, there is a 30 something woman holding a bottle of hair dye and teenie bopper clothes throwing a temper tantrumn inside my brain. "Too old" she is yelling as she kicks and screams. The good news is that with her in there, there is no further room for big bad boogie balls. My husband has gotten quite a kick out of my not being in "the target range". He reminded me that there will be other conferences at other times and that fuming about such a thing will do me no good. Despite my chronic immaturity, I was smart enough to stay married to a wise man.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Recently, Speaking

Just in case your wondering, the volley ball was a lot of fun. It was a day for intense work outs. In the morning, Kiree the neighbor girl and I ran and walked almost 3 miles. That night, we played 2 1/2 hours of intense volleyball. I was REAL SORE when it was over. I also pulled a muscle while running and hitting a ball over the net. Yes, you heard right. I did, in fact, get the ball over the net several times. I was soon to discover that nobody played flawlessly and that as long as I was making an attempt, I was keeping up just fine with every body else. That morning I was reminded that all of us are a little nervous doing something new with girls we don't know. We're all a little self conscious. We're all in it together. OK, I know, I know, none of them had big bad boogie balls bouncing in their heads, yes, in that I was alone.
My daughter hasn't been in too many group sportsy things. Since she was fairly new to this stuff, generously I offered to not play Toby Mac for a week (whom I love and she does not) if she could hit the ball over the net while in play. She was pretty motivated and all the women loved it when she finally made it. The next time I upped the stakes. I told her if she did it again, she could play as much Pillar as she wanted all week AND I couldn't tell her to turn it down. The women loved that one! They all tried hard to give her ample easy shots (much to my feigned displeasure). Finally, I agreed to no Supertones for a week. As you might guess, I have put away my favorite pop Cd's and am currently being graced with the tune of "The Original Superman" or whatever the name of the latest playing Pillar song is. Due to this week long intrusion of sound in my home, I am in need of a mental diversion, hence my latest post.
Kiree the neighbor girl played great. She surprised me with her determination and power. Mist was like a hurricane. She knows how to do that fancy air jumping, power packed spike stuff. It was fun to watch. I have renamed my friend Hazel, "Elasta - Woman" because she was all over the place. With her long muscular frame, she could about be or stretch to anywhere to make contact with the ball. Silverbell could hit pretty powerfully from way back. It was even a bit of a novelty to come home with a "pulled muscle". Since I'm not known for my athletic endeavors, "a pulled muscle" made me sound kinda, well, sportsy. Moonbeam and the other children all survived.
Now that our old trampoline is up, the kids have been having a lot of fun on it. As you can see, my kid, "Art Dog", is pretty incredible! I have daily warned them that living on top of a tall hill is not an ideal place for a trampoline to be. I am praying nobody falls off and goes rolling down the hill - ug. I guess I'd better pray and assign double angel duty for that big toy.
Tonight is Bible Study night here. My Son, The Archer, is off at Wild land Fire Fighter Class. How exciting, my oldest baby is a grown up man.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Big Bad Boogie Balls Bouncing Around in My Head

Well, I've been having more trouble with my imagination lately. It all started a few days ago when I went running with my friend, Mist. She happened to mention that they are starting a women's volleyball night weekly and how excited she was about that. She invited me to join in the fun. Suddenly, I was Dorothy in the Wizzard of OZ and I was no longer running along that forest road. Time stopped and I was back in 7th grade. Memories rocked me like Alice Cooper used to. Now its OC Supertones. Wowee, I just love em'. I don't know how anybody can not love to rock to the OC Supertones. I just can't get my family to appreciate my taste in some Christian Rock. (I needed that diversion). OK, so anyway, I was back in 7th grade.
They were picking teams and as usual, I was last. This time, even though I was last, neither team agreed to take me. They began fighting over who had to. Eventually, they bargained for taking a good player along with me as the bad baggage. The good player happened to be a boy whom I had a crush on. Girls, it doesn't get any worse than that. It was a traumatic event that marred my desire for anything "sportsy".
Here I was again, life times later, being invited to play a sport with some other women. Mist tried to explain that it was "for fun". I'm not sure what else she said because I was in a semi comatose condition, other than for running that is.
The neighbor girl, Kiree, has taken to running with us. She is 13 years old and wants to get into shape for sports next year. She got REALLY excited. She and Mist spent quite a bit of time trying to persuade me to go. Since I was getting out of breath and needed all my energy to complete our running course, I told them I'd think about it. All the while a chubby and uncoordinated little 7th grade girl pouted inside my head.
Thoughts of volleyballs began to plague me. I even started dreaming about them. I had made up my mind I would find some reason not to be able to go. Still volleyballs haunted me. I asked Kiree, the neighbor girl about the person who was setting the whole thing up. The only information she has offered me thus far is that she is 115 lbs. That can't be good. Any female who weighs 115 lbs surely has to be sinister.
Casually, I mentioned the "v" word to my friend, Hazel, in conversation. She, too, was very excited about it. She insisted that there are other women like me who are just playing for fun. We talked about how it is important to form relationships with women outside of our group. I began to feel convicted. All at once I realized that I was being tormented by phantom volleyballs because I was running from something that God might be wanting me to do.
Later that day, I remembered how I learned to snowboard. I had been determined. For the first few days on the hill I kept flipping over hard. My backside was literally covered in bruises. I kept trying, determined. I kept catching the edge of the board flipping over and over and over again. Finally, in my desperation, I asked God for help. Little by little, He began to speak to my heart. "Turn your edge", He would whisper. "Lean back". "Shift your edge". Soon, I was carving down the hill. That still small voice led me through it. I was terrified, but when I listened, I eventually learned. I'm by no means a pro, but I love to carve down a nice green hill. Had I never stepped out and tried, it would never have happened for me. It also deepened my relationship with God in the process. I learned to step out and trust by moving my heel and toe edge back and forth and shifting my weight.
It dawned on me that I needed to use my faith in this area too. I may have some bad memories of playing sports as a kid, but that is no excuse for letting fear keep me from playing now. Though Monday may be haunting my subconscious and volley balls are still bouncing around in my head from time to time, for the most part expectation is beginning to replace my fears.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Friday, June 5, 2009

attack of the toothy vampire offspring

I'm not always sure how to respond to people. Partly because I am a weirdo, partly because well.... I guess that's about it. I'm just a weirdo. Take today for example. I had suggested going to the lake for our girls fitness/devotional day. As the day got closer, I began to obsess on how things were going to go. Suddenly, my mother (another one of my personalities), came out. I began giving the other women advice. "Make sure you bring water". I told one. "Please bring dry clothes for your children". I recommended to another. Every time I heard her come out, the other part of me started screaming "stop it!! You sound just like your MOTHER!". I guess you just get to a certain age and you evolve into your maternal figure. I don't know, but it feels a bit like a low budget horror flick. Not that I don't love my mother (of course I do). My mom rocks. She's great. She's cool. She's the best ever mom. She's most likely reading this!!! Anyway, its just that I am supposed to be the irresponsible, fun, care free one. SHE is the mature thinker who always packs everything into her "train case" and has it all ready at the drop of a hat. If you need anything, ask my mom. If you are hungry, she's got food. If you're thirsty, she's got water. If your broke, she can come up with funds from somewhere. If you need somebody to get a horrible stain out of your favorite, best ever outfit, Mom's got the solution. If you have any buggers, ear wax or other assorted grossities, my mother will do the job. She's always prepared with every remedy and possible answer.
I began to think about what these other women must be thinking of me. Here I am, badgering them to be prepared. It was quite frightening. Well, its OK, because after I told one of them to bring dry clothes for their kids, I neglected to have any dry clothes available for my own six year old. Thank Heavens, there is a little bit of me left after all.
And so, we embarked on having our girls day at the lake. I left early so I could fish with my friend, Goat Girl. I multi-tasked by balancing Moonbeam on my lap and nursing her while I casted and reeled. It was a nice excursion. I also considered baking a cake at the same time, but I had neglected to bring some flour along. It was a peaceful, beautiful day. The lake was calm and we laughed together over various topics. We imparted pearls of wisdom to one another which I am not at liberty to share.
We had a nice group of women. The picnic was fun. I read from "The Love Dare" and from Luke 19. The kids played well with the exception of my baby getting bitten by a vampire child who happens to be the toothy offspring of my good friend Hazel. What do you do when somebody else's kid bites yours and draws blood? You have to fight your maternal instinct to get upset. Of course the other mother feels bad. I am after all, an emergency room nurse. I'm supposed to be prepared to handle blood. Usually I am cool as a cucumber. Today, I was a bit frazzled. I was trying to smile and be polite at the same time trying to console my screaming baby. Finally, I shoved something into her mouth which I am not at liberty to discuss. She was much happier. In my maternal mind I was thinking "oh my God, my precious baby is bruised! she's bleeding! she's hurt!" All the while calm as a cucumber emergency room nurse is saying "it's just a flesh wound, suck it up." The polite part of me is attempting an odd looking smile which possibly makes me look uptight or constipated. I am trying to continue the chit chat, but it is sounding more like a confused babble. I don't remember much of what I said other than something like "what a nice day out, can you believe your baby drew blood?!
As you can see, up until the dreaded dastardly deed of the vampire offspring, it was a lovely day. Moonbeam was quite pleased to taste dirt along with smashed bananas (as pictured here).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Working Mom Blues and The Case of The Boy Who Wanted to Cook Rice

As you may have guessed by the title, I am back in the saddle, working a 12 hour shift as an RN on the night shift at an unknown rural hospital. I've been swamped all night and am finally sitting down with a good cup of joe (thanks to "Nurse Happy Sunny Day"). I strongly had the urge to whine, fuss and throw a temper tantrum when I arrived at work due to my perceived work load, but I refrained myself. Patients, family and other staff may have become quite distraught themselves when the relief worker was found to be throwing a temper tantrum. Since I am too big to be disciplined, and my mother is living in another state, I reluctantly behaved.
Though I am an Emergency Room Nurse, I some times work in the Acute Care Unit. I much prefer the emergency room. This is mostly due to my attention deficit condition. I like the pace of moving people through and "fixing" them or sending them somewhere else to be "fixed". If I see some one for too long, I am afraid I will become too bored. Especially at night, it is rather painstaking to watch a floor full of patients sleep when I cannot be doing so myself. I quickly become bored and find myself once again longing for the diversion of the adrenaline driven emergency room.
When I arrived in town today, I was mortified to discover that my cell phone no longer dialed home. In fact, it didn't dial anywhere, but one place. I heard a recording that said "don't hang up! Your call has been diverted." It didn't take me long to figure out that we were late paying the bill and that this was some fiendish plan on the part of the cell phone company to collect if I wanted to call somebody bad enough. I contemplated telling them that I was stranded on a desert island or possibly on another planet and needed to phone home, but decided I didn't have the time or energy for such drivel. Besides, they would want me to promise them some money and since I am no longer in charge of the bills, I am happily clueless.
I was later surprised to receive a call from my teenage son asking me how to cook rice. I suppose they do not divert incoming calls, though perhaps they could if they really wanted to. They could try and collect partial payments from would be callers, kinda like a phone booth. I can see it now, "you really want to talk to your mama kid?.....give me a credit card number and I'll put it right through". Oh the nerve of these bill collectors. What child wakes up in the morning and says "Gosh, when I grow up I think I'll be a bill collector".
Well, any how, so my son asked for directions on how to cook rice. All ears of my co- workers were on as I described the process. When I finished that, I again rehearsed for the millionth time some general motherly instructions on how to survive a night without me there, how to care for the baby, and other annoying unneeded tips. Then I told them not to expect any calls because of the cell phone predicament. I wonder if patients and co-workers lose confidence in a nurse who hasn't paid her cell phone bill.
Well, I suppose I must be getting back to work. I fear what gooey, beastly scenes I may find upon re-entry to my kitchen in the morning. Rice without supervision can be an ugly finding. Even now, it may be invading the entire house. Sticky, gummy granules could be making their way like bugs into every room. I can imagine them stuck to the bottom to socks, spilled under the table and quite possibly flying like b52 bombers into unknown territory.