Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In her relatively short life, she's suffered through divorce, widowhood, abandonment, but also reared two great children☺, started her life over again many times, and is now happily married, retired, and refurbishing her bathroom. Can't wait to see it.
Happy Birthday, Mom.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I knew I was greatly influenced by the book Little Women, as have been many girls. But I realized it even more when I attended Little Women the Musical the other night. My friend won tickets and invited me along. It was very enjoyable with a few, but not too many, liberties taken from the original story.
I read the book when I was around 12 or 14, and I wanted to be Jo. I wanted to be a writer, I still do. I wanted to be original and not confined to the mores of the times. Still do. I wanted my family to stay close forever and love me as much as I treasured them. I still want that. I didn't want some things to change, yet longed to be bold and adventurous. That's still me. I have never been as bold as Jo, however.
She was such a great character. A good influence, I think.
If I think about it long enough, I'm sure I can come up some good influences from that movie the boys loved. Building traps, dodging criminals, thinking on your feet, cherishing your family...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Take a box (perhaps a computer paper box) and glue a mirrored tile to the inside bottom. Wrap and gift tag it to Jesus. On Christmas morning ponder whose birthday we are celebrating and what gift would be acceptable/appropriate for Jesus. What could we possibly give Him?
One at a time, open the gift and look inside to see You, Me, Us! That's what Jesus wants.
What a great reminder.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
For instance, the gift of Gold was highly valued in that poor economic time. This gift probably helped finance this young couple. We try to wrap in gold paper or tie with gold ribbon a present that is highly valued by the giftee. It's the "big" present (or most expensive).
Frankincense was used for incense, a way of meeting with God. Wrapped in silver then, is a gift that helps our children in their meeting with God. A new Bible, devotional, or Christian C.D. fits along these lines.
Myrrh was used to anoint the body and is still used as a fragrance in many items. Lotions, fuzzy socks, pajama pants or anything else used in comfort for their precious bodies are wrapped in deep reds.
We like to talk about the significance of the gifts given to Jesus and how the gifts we give reflect the same. This article explains the idea more fully.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I got to spend time with all my children (and new daughter-in-love), my mom and her husband, my only brother and his wonderful wife, two of my nieces and one nephew, and laugh a lot. My mother-in-law was able to return home a couple of days ago (heart surgery). Dan has relented and is allowing Sassy in the house. God has answered some very specific prayer requests. Everyone is healthy! Kiersten invited Rachel and me to do some Christmas baking. Did I mention that my sister-in-law Julie is a treasure?
I still have a lot of growing to do. It's pretty painful, but God is merciful and loving, patient and kind. He gives me a lot of grace and so do a ton of other people. I'm still becoming all the things I wish to be, but it's two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes it feels harder than that. But He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.
Knowing that, how can I be sad?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It was like a binge. A sudden urge would come over me to cry. I would cry over anything and everything I could get my mind on. I would cry in secret, but the urge became so overpowering, I didn't care who was watching. I had no self control.
The aftermath took its toll. A frightened husband and children. Kleenexes were hoarded. Contacts were probably ruined. Excedrin stock went up, while everything else plummeted.
The purging was a giant list of excuses and reasons. Some were intolerable. Like the two weeks I blamed the watching of the movie "Hitler, the Rise of Evil". None of it made the binging stop.
Two days of blogging. Two days of Bible reading. Two days of on the knees praying. Two days of watching my daughter find immense joy in the midst of intense suffering.
It may be safe for the Kleenexes to come out of hiding.
Monday, November 24, 2008
3 lb. ground beef
1 c. milk
2 c. oatmeal
1/2 T. garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
Mix ground beef mixture well and form into small balls. Put onto a sheetcake pan. Bake at 350° while you make the sauce.
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1 c. water
2 c. brown sugar
1 T. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Heat in saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain grease off of the meatballs, and pour the sauce over the meatballs. Total baking time will be 45 min. to 1 hour.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Wrap it around itself into a long cone shape, and stuff with loose balls of aluminum foil to help retain the shape. Twist the end.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Case in point. My 15 year-old daughter Rachel attended a special class, on Sunday, for teens that want to develop a deeper walk with God. She came home with some homework that included several spiritual disciplines. One was to be spiritually aware.
What a great discipline that I'm also trying to develop. I just plain forget to include God in some of the things I do.
Then, surprise! Rachel told me that she thought I had helped her develop this really well. She remembered how we pray in the car. A lot. How I often point out something God created or did for us, or thinking of how we need to be as Christians.
Wow. It was a grip your heart, thrilling moment.
Then my second thought was, I guess I haven't done a very good job at teaching the other disciplines.
Stop right there. Rewind. Go back to Yea, Mom! I did something right. Praise the Lord. I could have never done it on my own. He has manifested himself through me to my daughter.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me the privilege of raising four wonderful, talented, awesome kids. They all love you! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We have seen goats, just not the kind that freely wander from house to house like cats. No leash law, I guess.
It was so great to see my son Jeff for the entire weekend. We miss him so much. He thrilled my mom by dancing with her. She told me that he really wants tennis shoes that light up. Anyone know where I can get them in a size 11?
Mother of the bride, my sister-in-law Julie. Doesn't she look so happy! We both married off our first born this summer.
Officially married on the groom's family's porch, in the shortest ceremony I've ever attended.
It's really flat out there. My husband (being from Nebraska) loved it!
Go to the next post for part II.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Finally a picture of the Groom. He was so dashing. He sang to me during our wedding. (That's my aunt Suzie). Notice the CHOCOLATE cake? Yum.
I'm still smiling today. What a wonderful marriage (cause I got a great guy). Yea, me!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We picked up Rachel and told her the story. This made her really explore some questions she was having, because this morning she had just memorized Luke 6:27-30.
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. "
Monday, September 8, 2008
She has a song on this website. Go there, scroll down to her name, listen to her song and give her five stars!
She is greatly talented and totally sold out to God. You'll be glad you took the time to find out.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It was so cool to see the kids feed the dolphins!
Upfront, I must say that Rachel took most of these pictures.
The jelly fish were absolutely amazing. They looked just like the ones in "Finding Nemo", only real.
The Coral was so beautiful. I can see why people fall in love with scuba diving. It was like looking at a beautiful garden.
This octopus was freaky and fascinating. I was glad to have glass between us.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
My youngest son takes a home-school class at the same time. He was excited, too. Yesterday he said, "Guess what, Mom? Tomorrow is Friend to Friend."
(c) 2008 Rachel Sexson
Later my friend sent me this email
"...when I walked in to help with child care - it was already 10:10. Chase was in the Greece class and (the teacher) was holding up a globe. She pointed to Iraq - then Chase yelled out something about the war. She talked about the constitution (I'm not exactly sure why - I wasn't paying close attention, but) then Chase yelled out something about how it's been changed and it's wrong. Both teachers smiled and agreed... then one of the teachers said -'That boy will be president some day!'" ☺
Saturday, August 30, 2008
When women ask when my children started sleeping through the night, I tell them I'm still waiting. Ha!
But I digress.
A short "rest" quickly turned into a short nap. My motivation, energy level and attitude all took a turn for the better.
Upon confessing to a pastor that I kept falling asleep during my prayer time, he commented that sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is take a nap.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I guess this stop in Dallas could be considered a loooong field trip, since we are studying U.S. history from the turn of the 20th century.
This layover reminded me of the funniest Saturday Night Live skit I saw many, many years ago. A man goes to Heaven and asks someone (St. Peter, I think) everything he always said he would ask once he got there.
One of his questions was who shot JFK. I don't remember the answer, but what I enjoyed most was all the answers. Hard to describe, but funny.
If my daughter produces a skit like it for this year's youth group's Academy Award, I'll try to post it here.
Does anyone remember it?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
How exciting that God was showing me where he wanted me to focus. How encouraging that He showed me enough times that I got it through my thick skull. How great that He's going to use this charge to help me with so many of the things about which I've been praying.
Then I read 2 Corinthians 13:1-2 "This is the third time I am coming to visit you. The Scriptures tell us that if two or three have seen a wrong, it must be punished. Well, this is my third warning, as I come now for this visit. I have already warned those who had been sinning when I was there last; now I warn them again, and all others, just as I did then, that this time I come ready to punish severely and I will not spare them."
In verse 10 "I am writing this to you now in the hope that I won't need to scold and punish when I come: for I want to use the Lord's authority which he has given me, not to punish you but to make you strong."
So I am doubly (triply?) determined to follow the Lord's commands immediately. The dishes are done. The kids and I have played cards. The planning for school is almost complete.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
As admonished, I prayed, "Help me understand what you are doing in my life."
I hadn't even formed all the words when dh Dan and son Chase joined me on the porch. Okay, I see the humor, didn't look at them as a distraction, but didn't want to read too much into it either. After all, I hadn't even gotten my entire thought out of my mouth!
I did some more of the study. Committed to reading God's Word and letting that be a confirmation of what He's trying to tell me.
Then again I asked, "What are you trying to show me?"
Immediately, some combination of family came out on the porch.
I put aside my study and joined them. Later I read my scripture and again the next day (yesterday). I was totally reminded of the things God has been telling me.
Take care of the small things. Obey immediately. Put aside my own selfish desires, and live to please Him.
I've been asking Him to help me be more disciplined, and He obviously is.
One more time, I sat down yesterday to finish that particular lesson. On the prayer portion I wrote "God, what are you doing in my life? Preparing me for something big in which I must learn to take care of the small details and Big -meaning my family-(at which point Rachel joined my solitude) giving myself to God alone, not pleasing myself but spending time pleasing God."
Three times God interrupted my prayer to show me my family. This isn't the "small things" after all.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Last week dh Dan reminded me that he would be working in San Antonio this week. With our van newly fixed, our cat no longer an issue, and school not starting until Aug. 25, we were free to consider going with him. On a lark, I looked into the price of gas compared to the price of an airline ticket which would be reimbursed. It looks like the cost of driving would be only 50 or so dollars more.
Dan's base price of a hotel for only him would be reimbursed. He had one free night's stay certificate. So minimal cost as far as a place to stay.
I've been wanting to take the kids to Sea World ever since I went around four years ago. Motivation.
I held my breath and made the reservations, arrangements, and took the plunge into going.
That's where we are right now.
We are having so much fun. It was such the right decision. I wish I would be braver about "going for it" more.
Remembering this success may encourage me.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I borrowed a newspaper and found exactly that description, plus she was only one year old and black (childhood memories for me)!!
The previous owner also gave us cat food and a dish, cat litter and a litter box. Did I mention we were broke?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
He stepped into the garage to find Sassy "toying" with a couple of baby rabbits.
At least we didn't end the evening by watching "Old Yeller".
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
An argument could have been made when my grandmother "Mamarie" was in a lot of pain over Christmas to end her life. That argument could not be won in my family. Thank you, Lord.
Torn, I called my cousin Kim. Kim is the "cat lady". She has so many cats that I think it's probably illegal. She's had a ton of pets, and right now she is breeding Siamese kittens. She loves her animals so much. I knew that she would understand my struggle. I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but she surprised me.
She empathized with me totally of course, but ironically told me how "Mamarie" had warned her not to humanize her pets. That through the years she has realized that choose life is a mandate for us Humans. And as humans we have been given dominion over the animals of the earth. We have the responsibility to treat them well. We are not playing God in making a decision to ease their suffering, because they are NOT human. No matter how much we love them. Our emotions get in the way. But we've been charged with a responsibility.
Wow. I love my cousin. It's amazing to find how alike we think about so many things. It meant so much for me to hear these words from her, someone who has loved her animals so much!
So I gathered three of the kids around (though Jeff is 20 and just happened to be visiting), and I shared with them my knew found understanding. I hadn't thought they could handle it, but there they were, totally understanding. Ready to put Emily out of her misery.
We all huddled in the vet's office together.
Yuck. Sometimes making the tough decisions in life really stinks. But I still choose it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I cried myself silly dropping him off at mother's day out for the first time.
I watched him play inline hockey, football, and rugby. I watched him get injured. All the while I was purposefully standing back.
I've always felt like I had to pry my own fingers off of my first born son's life one at a time. It was so hard.
But when he married Stefanie, my hands were totally open. All the letting go had been done. Brad is his own man. He is the Lord's. He is wise and mature and ready for life.
How wonderful to be able to rejoice at his wedding!!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
There may be numerous reasons why he doesn't want to brush, and we've tried to address them all, but this is a very common scenario in our home. We tell him to get ready for bed, and he stalls. He has perfected the stall beyond what all three of the other kids have done. When I tell him to brush his teeth now, but he finds many reasons to delay said brushing, he is being disobedient.
I didn't want to write this post, because I think I've said it before, which just goes to show how little I've progressed in this area. However, last night I had to show Chase much mercy in his disobedience, because God had been showing me much mercy in my disobedience. All day He had been telling me to do certain things, one of which was to finish my Bible Study, and I had been whining and stalling.
Of course the lesson in the Bible study was about when God tells us to do something, we must respond immediately. Ouch.
I have some potentially challenging things coming up. It's so important that I take care of the "little things". That's always been the hardest for me. I've begged Him to help me, and I really see how He has been trying to teach me. He has been so patient.
What is God waiting to do through me that I'm prohibiting by my stalling?
Tonight, I made Chase brush his teeth immediately.
(After giving the rabbit water)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Is named... THE INTRUDER. What?!!
I'm sure it is an awesome R.V. The people who own it, I'm sure, are just lovely. But who was the advertising genius that came up with this name?
If we were to visit our children in the future R.V., I would like it to be called something hopefully more fitting. Like...
or Welcome Guest
or even We Promise Not to Stay More than Four Days!
But THE INTRUDER? No way.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This after a week of Grandma Dodie visiting. Brad here with one of his groomsmen the week before. Four groomsmen one night. A set of grandparents another night. A cousin/nephew another. What a crazy, fun, busy time.
But, we've recovered from the wedding, and we're alone. Today we saw everyone off (including Brad & Stefanie back from their honeymoon), went to church, grocery shopping and home. We finished 10,000 B.C., ate lunch and swam away the whole afternoon.
Tomorrow we have a lunch invitation, then Chase has a friend over all afternoon till evening. Good thing, too. I'm teaching two Frugal Living classes Tuesday night, and I'm not ready. So Chase and his buddy will have fun, and I'll have the freedom to finish prepping.
Still, it feels a little lonely. It won't be long until Rachel is gone off to college, so I guess we better start getting used to it.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
In doing a Bible study, I'm reminded that I'm supposed to be God-centered, not self-centered. Duh. Why do I keep forgetting that?
In asking God how I can remember to keep Him and His provisions and abilities and desires first, He reminded me of the times where I spent my day asking God, "What next?"
I can do that. So, I asked God, "What do you want me to do now?"
He told me to write in my blog. Isn't God fun? He has so totally blessed my socks off, and this blog is one of the ways I've wanted to share the cool things He does in my life. Yet, I've left it stagnant. Time for fresh water.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
But I remarried and had two more children. I've been busy homeschooling them and participating in various ministries. Over time, I've been able to speak a little here and there. Usually just short five to seven minutes segments.
But I was given the opportunity to be the speaker at a women's event two nights ago. I was able to share how women reflected God's love to me throughout my life. It was awesome, and I might tell more.
One of the coolest things was that my friend Renee "just happened" to be in town that night. How appropriate and so very special that Renee was able to be there for the culmination of this very old dream!! God is so good indeed.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I went out on my deck to pray and study my speech a little more. I was thanking God for this tiny wooded view he's given us in the middle of the city. Thanking him for the pool he's given us. The green trees and the blue skies. It's just so pretty, and all the things in nature just fill me with wonder at God's awesomeness. I looked up, and there in the wooded area was a deer!! Never in the 13 years we've lived here have we ever seen a deer! It stayed for so long. I was able to call my son to see it. He grabbed my camera and I got a couple of shots. He was even able to go down to our fence and call for the deer. After awhile, it slowly went down to the little creek area. If you can call it that. It's just stagnant water.
It was as if God were telling me that scripture in Ephesians about being able to do abundantly more than we can think or imagine. I could never have imagined there would be a deer in my back yard. What a wonderful gift from God on a special day. Thank you, thank you, Jesus.
Friday, April 11, 2008
There is no other logical explanation. I don't know how long it's been going on, because we use the T.V. mostly for movies and video games. There are certain channels we don't watch too often. I think it was last weekend that my daughter Rachel and I were watching a movie, and while we had it stopped turned over to PBS for a Masterpiece Theater. Only it was extremely annoying because it was broadcast for the blind! Which meant that they narrated and explained every motion.
Later, my son Chase was watching a cartoon on PBS, and they were doing the same thing. I looked just now, and they aren't doing it.
Then, again flipping through the channels, I noticed that "Dancing with the Stars" was being broadcast in Spanish. Weird, but we weren't watching it, so I ignored it.
Then last night, we turned on "Survivor", and we could here the music, but no dialogue. The T.V. in the kitchen was fine. After the first commercial, the dialogue came back on. But, while I was flipping through the channels trying to figure out what was wrong, "Desperate Housewives" was broadcasting Spanish again. In the kitchen it was purely English. All the other channels were fine.
Oh, and if I received the channel through the VCR, everything was normal.
So it sounds like the TV right? I went through the menu, all the buttons I could find, but to no avail. There seems to be no logical reason.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the channels was mysteriously missing, so I did the automatic reconfigure which stations we receive. So, I thought maybe there are stations broadcasting in these special "features". We looked at the online TV guide, but there were no stations listed like this.
By the way, we don't have cable or satellite. Something's in the air...
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
At Bible study today, we watched a slide show and heard about an orphanage in Mexico that we are helping. This "retired" couple, only in their 40's, bought a home in Mexico and waited upon the Lord. He brought them an orphan on their doorstep. Soon he brought another and another. And now they have something like 24 girls and 14 boys. I actually think it's more than that. Every month they have more bills than money. But they just keep trusting God.
If the following sounds repetitious, it's because it's a reoccurring theme in my life. When will I learn? Anyway, I want to do that!! Not that in particular, but something where I'm using my life in a big, no holds bar kind of way for Christ.
I've always been the Braveheart disembowel me for Christ kind of person. But don't ask me to gather firewood in the rain.
What I mean is, I'm one of the blessed ones that actually recognizes when and what God is telling me, if I listen. Right now, He doesn't tell me to retire and move to Mexico to start an orphanage. He tells me to send an encouraging email, make a meal for a hurting friend, play along with my son when he tries to hire me for pretend money so I can buy his stuff. It doesn't seem sacrificial enough. Big enough.
But apparently it is. Because it's so hard for me to do. My flesh doesn't want to. And it may be bigger than I think, because God knows the big plan. He knows my place in it.
So guess what he's telling me now? Back to that same old thing again...
Unload the dishwasher.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Mom. I love you so very much!! Who could ask for a beter mom. Your so awsome!!! here are the ways your awsome.
Good at cooking
and most of all....
.....being a mom.
happy birthday mom.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Roughly 200,000 Americans are quadrennials
More than 2.1 million people throughout the world are quads
There is a 1 in 1,506 or 1,461 chance that a child will be born on Leap Day
I never knew. Tongue-in-cheek, I'm sure, "they" complain about discrimination. Not being able to vote or get a driver's license.
Not only have I never had these problems, I'm getting a free pizza from Papa John's today because it's my birthday.
I love my birthday. It seems like people remember it. Maybe not every year, but once every four years I get a lot of cards and often a party! Only two snail mail cards so far, but tons of e-cards. Sign of the times I guess. They're just as great.
On my off years, I get birthday wishes for two days because no one remembers if I celebrate February 28 or March 1. I do March 1, for the record.
When I was little, my daddy teased me mercilessly that I didn't have a birthday. But it is a treasured memory for me now.
In second grade the teacher asked us to write down our birthday, and I asked which one. She retorted rather snottily, "You only have one birthday." Which is technically true, but a little confusing for a seven-year-old, who had only celebrated one birthday on the actual birth day.
It seemed weird to me that I get so excited about this once every four year birthday celebration, but after watching some of the you tube videos, I see I'm not the only one!
Thanks, Mom. You did good. ♥
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A mutual friend (Mom) had introduced us a couple of weeks earlier. But, we really didn't start talking until right before the date/trip. My mom had been friends with him for around six months, and I knew she liked him. When pressed if he was "...the one?", she had to say, "He might be."
He barely knew me, though maybe Mom filled him in a bit.
He was going to CO skiing with a friend anyway, so the idea was he needed my help with the driving since it was such a long trip. We cleared the air that neither of us thought anything inappropriate was going to occur.
We were both adults. In fact he a bachelor, and me a single mom of two boys.
I had a computer class at the college, so he picked me up around 9:00 p.m. on a Thursday, and we drove probably twelve hours before we picked up his friend.
So many things I loved about this date.
We had time to talk and talk. I asked him every question in the book, from what's your favorite toothpaste, and how do your parents resolve conflict, to what was your favorite Christmas gift?
It was my birthday (sort of), and an anniversary of my husband leaving me. This was God's restoration.
I'd never been skiing, and I was eager to find out how he would treat me. Much to my pleasure, he signed me up for lessons, helped me get my gear on, took me to the class. He met me for lunch and just took great care of me.
In the hotel room, he gave me the bed and slept on the floor.
The truck broke down on the way home. He had tools, but couldn't quite get it fixed (what a wizard he is at fixing everything). But we were close to his family, so they met us and helped us. I got to meet his family. They were so warm and loving. Dan's mom gave me a hug goodbye, and that touched my heart. I was so excited when the truck broke, because I wanted to see how he would handle it. He was so patient and calm.
At the end of that long, long date, he gave me a hug goodbye. What a gentleman!
He probably didn't realize how much of a test he was taking, but he passed with flying colors.
And he continues to amaze me. I am so blessed.
I'm still working on my tongue and hence my attitude. But I'm aghast at some of the things that flew out of that portal last night!
And yesterday, I had another startling revelation about myself. Not only am I a more critical person than I believed I was, I'm also controlling!
For those of you that have wrestled me over the remote, stop laughing. I knew I liked things my way. I knew I could be bossy. I attributed a lot of that to being the oldest child and being selfish and prideful. That I knew.
Wow. Controlling people can really annoy me. I guess that's the one finger pointed at you, three pointing back at me kind of thing.
But I'm willing to change. If I can just be the one to decide when, where and how much. Ha! ☺
Sunday, February 17, 2008
It lead to some good discussions with the kids. It also prompted me to look up how much of the movie was true.
Most of it was! Even the most difficult part to believe was true, which was his heroism in the war. I don't want to give it away, but it was pretty amazing.
The war scenes are hokey. Unfortunately, we've seen much more realistic death. But that nor the lack of color bothered us. If you watch it, let me know what you thought of the picture of his mother. We laughed pretty hard at that scene.
Nine year-old son, fourteen year-old daughter, Mom and Dad all give the movie five stars.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I had a dream last night that I figured out the whole space time continuum thing, but this morning it didn't make sense because the pilot wasn't wearing his wedding ring.
Sayid must have sold his soul.
Why????? (cried with anguish)
BTW, if you want to know all the theories and get screen caps, this site is awesome. http://www.darkufo.blogspot.com/
I've come to have the same thing for breakfast every morning. At first I had a fruit and whole grain, plus a protein and milk. But I can hardly choke it down even though I stop eating by 7:00 the night before. So now I have an apple cut up into 3/4 of a serving of oatmeal and some hot tea.
I've been feeling pleased about my eating habits, but last night was a blow-out.
We had a romantic dinner at home with steak, baked potato, asparagus, and wine. Not too bad, I had a very small potato with low-fat sour cream and a small piece of steak. It was so good. I did have 2 1/2 glasses of wine. And then we had Moellieux au Chocolat, known in America as Oozing Chocolate Lava Cake. Ohhh, it was roll your eyes in the back of your head good. I don't have any ramekins, so I used a muffin tin and made six individual cakes instead of four. And it was so rich I didn't know if I could eat all of that one, but I did.
Then I prayed for the leftover two to be gone, because I just wanted to eat more and more. My husband and son polished those off, so yea!
And I woke up feeling lousy this morning. Do you think it was all the sugar?
That was fun last night, but my oatmeal tasted really good this morning.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Chase raised concern, "What?!"
In another quiet (read sinister) voice Dan replied, "I'm not talking to you."
"Okay, you're totally scaring the daylights out of me," Chase panicked.
Amidst my outburst of laughter, I told Chase that his dad was talking in his sleep. Then we both laughed so hard.
I still didn't get any sleep.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
1. I don't think we took the newspaper until I was at least 12. I could be wrong, but I remember reading my Aunt Diane's.
2. I never even heard of satellite until I was 15. When was it invented anyway? We had an old black and white television until I was 10 or 11.
3. I remember my mom having a Redbook subscription when I was in my early teens. She denies it, but I liked reading the, "Can this Marriage be Saved" column. She tore out the sex column so I couldn't read it.
4. When I was in elementary school, Mom & Diane would load us kids into the car and we'd go to the drive-in. We could bring our own popcorn & soda. I guess this was doing without going to the theater, but it was great fun.
5. We seldom ate out. But I don't know that many people did. I remember the first McDonald's came to town when I was 9 or 10. Our school class took a field trip there.
6. I don't remember having a phone until my brother was born. I was six. It was black, and we had a party line.
Then there are all the things I see as a necessity now. No washer until brother was born, and the dryer came later. No second car. Many trips to the grocery store and library with the wagon. No central air conditioning, except for a couple of years we lived in a townhome. Did we have any a/c before that? No dishwasher until I was around 16.
So many things that I never even knew we "needed". I'm a big believer in doing without. It's not always fun, but it builds an attitude of gratitude for the things we have.
Monday, February 11, 2008
What I do hear is this catchy commercial, "I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now." And he buys a big screen T.V.
It's important to me to point out those type of commercials to the kids and to myself. It is such an easy mindset to slip into.
Instead, I will be glad for some of the things we have chosen to do without.
- Daily & weekend newspaper (we get a free paper Wed., Fri., and Sun.)
- Cable or Satellite
- Magazine subscriptions (though my kids have some given as gifts from grandparents)
- Video rentals (we use the library)
- Eating out (I can't say totally, but I try very hard to cook.)
- Cell phone (my husband needs one for work, but he's the only one with the cell.)
I must admit, the cell phone is the hardest one. I wonder if there are some things that I wouldn't even think of because we've gone without them for so long.
On the other hand, we may do with some things that you would always chose to do without.
A couple of years ago, I noticed that coincidentally the first few months of the year are always the most difficult for us.
Besides having just paid our personal and property taxes, we've always just finished Christmas, which usually entailed a long trek out of town. Add to that tag renewals in January, a life insurance payment, and car insurance due in February.
This year included some serious dental expenses for my youngest, and some serious car repairs for the old (but appreciated) van.
We're a frugal family. I love to read frugality blogs. I'm always trying to learn something new on trimming the expenses. There doesn't seem to be too many things left.
So, I've finally given up soda. For the most part.
I've tried in the past to limit myself to one a day, but inevitably would have a day when I drank five or six. Also, my youngest son has gotten into the bad habit of thinking he needs one soda a day. Call it old age, but I never would have allowed this with the older kids.
So, now he can only have one a week. And I can have one occasionally. In the past three weeks, I've probably had three. Diet Rite Cherry. Yum. My favorite.
I'm really doing fine without it. I figure we'll be saving around $150 a year. Every little bit helps.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
It will be interesting to see how soon the snack table starts to clear off. Will it be by the end of February or hold out until April?
How many diets have I been on? Have you been on? Lifestyle changes. Better eating choices. It's now or never.
The willpower only lasts so long. Then gradually, or in one big bag of oreo crunching, the new me/you is out and the old me/you is baaaack!
Lasting change will never happen for me without the help of God. All the positive thinking. All the willpower. All the powders, pills, plans. It won't work.
The change I'm focusing on (dare I admit it?) is my tongue. The words that exit my mouth originated in my heart. So I'm trying to listen to the words before they have the chance to escape. Then I'm looking at my heart condition to see what those words really meant.
And this is really all related to food and lasting change. Yesterday I really struggled through wanting to indulge in some unhealthy food. What I really wanted was to indulge in some unhealthy speaking. That old criticism thing again. So if I had the tasty morsels of food, I could forgo the tasty morsels of slander.
Ah. Heart check time. I spent some time in prayer. Confessing, admitting my powerlessness, asking for strength. He delivered.
Help me, Lord. You alone know how wicked is my heart.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
In fact, in a lot of my prayers I ask God to hit me over the head with His answer, because I just don't get it.
This Fall a friend shared in Bible study how her daughter was ready for a big girl bike. Same daughter had a problem with being respectful. Mom had tried many negative consequences, but struck upon the idea of rewarding her daughter with a dollar in a jar towards the bike every time she voluntarily said things like, "Thank you, Mommy." It worked wonderfully.
I mentioned and have thought since wouldn't it be great if God gave us these negative consequences and positive attaboys for our choices?
A wise woman said, "He does in my life all the time."
I bet He does in mine, too. Again, I'm obtuse.
So I've been praying and asking God to show me the rewards and consequences of my choices.
I've been choosing to keep the dishes hand-washed and picked up better than when we still had use of the dishwasher. I'm seeing the positive cleaning spilling over to keeping other things picked up, too.
I'd love to hear some of your rewards and consequences!
Monday, February 4, 2008
Since that time, my precious, spoils me, mother-in-law came for a visit. As long as I cooked, she did the dishes. Not only that, but cleaned the counters, table, sink. Two whole weeks I had the star treatment. And when she left I declared, "It will stay this way." Clean and picked up I mean.
But, it didn't.
I thought how wonderful of the Lord to send this angel to my house right after I grumbled about there always being dishes to do.
I thought this break was what I needed to get myself in a good habit.
So, the Lord is trying a new tactic.
For a while the handle on the dishwasher has not worked correctly. In fact, dear mother-in-law had to learn the secret of getting the door opened. My daughter had written an explanatory paper on how to get the door open.
Two days ago the handle finally broke. I managed to wrench the door open to get the clean dishes out, but dear hubby said we couldn't use it anymore until it got fixed.
The part is on back order and won't be in until the end of the month. So at least three more weeks of doing dishes by hand.
I can't help but remember when I started washing the Sunday afternoon dishes when I was eight or nine. It was either that or take a nap like my parents and little brother. So I washed and dreamed I was Cinderella (pre-Fairy Godmother).
My nine year-old son helped me dry the first load. And he washed part of a load tonight. He's enjoying it. My daughter has also cheerfully volunteered to help. And of course, dear hubby has pitched in, too. I didn't realize I was depriving them all.