Monday, October 31, 2005

Brendan's blogging!

I am so proud. Brendan has set up his own blog site! For those of you who don't know, Bren is my nephew. I jokingly call him my 'first child'. I used to keep him a lot. Poor Kim, I tried to take over. Check out his blog. It's good!


I love to laugh. I love romantic comedies, comedic books, I Love Lucy, jokes of the day, irony, satire, and wit. I love one-liners and 'zingers'. I love what I call internally-visual comedy. It's the kind that makes you picture the absurd situations the characters are in. Patrick McMannus is a comedic writer who is a master of this, just ask Angela. He makes me lose my breath laughing.

British comedy cracks me up. Mr. Bean especially. Barry lent us his Mr. Bean dvds after my surgery but I couldn't watch them because it hurt to laugh that hard. Monty Python: The Holy Grail is a favorite. It's the only movie I can think of that, if you ask someone if they've seen it, their answer is to quote their favorite lines. Which is usually half the movie. My personal favorite is "Help! Help! I'm being repressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system!" That makes me giggle even now.

My family loves to laugh. As a little girl, I remember trying to fall asleep in my bed at my Nanny and PawPaw's but failing because my family would be laughing SO loudly! I grew up around it. But Kim has what is called "inappropriate laughter". She really does. It's funny to me. If she's really nervous or intensely sad, she just starts laughing. It's quite bizarre when it happens. But it usually brings about a relief to the tension in the room. Like Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." That, by the way, is my favorite movie quote.

Stop a minute and think about laughter. We all know that it feels great, and I'm sure we've even heard the verses in Proverbs about it. But if you really think about it, it's kind of mystical. If someone is feeling out of place, it can make them relax and feel included. It also produces a chemical reaction in our bodies. Endorphines are released. Science has proven that people who laugh a lot are basically healthier. Laughter improves heart health, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, improves the immune system, lowers stress, makes bones heal faster, etc. I find all that amazing. Why did God make us that way?

Everything that God has created points us to Him. Laughter is no different. When I laugh, it's because I'm enjoying something. And if I recognize that all good things come from God, that He is not impassive but very active in my life, then in that moment, I'm enjoying Him. I am acknowledging His presence and love for me, and it releases me to savor Him. That's what Jon Piper calls 'Christian Hedonism'. Glorifying God by enjoying Him forever.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Some of you know Chris' brother, Patrick. Others of you may not. I need to preface this blog by saying that I didn't get Patrick's permission to talk about him. So I might delete it if it makes him very uncomfortable. That said...

Chris has one brother, five years younger. His name is Patrick. He is almost the direct physical opposite of Chris. Chris is relatively short, Patrick is really tall. Chris is broad shouldered and muscular, Patrick is more on the lanky side. Chris is beautifully bald, Patrick has thick, dark hair. But they both have blue eyes. Chris looks like their Dad, Patrick looks like their Mom. Chris is very practical with a bent towards engineering, Patrick is very hip, with a trend towards design. They are like all good things wrapped into two people.

Some people are born with a natural charisma- Patrick is one of these people. He has a pretty face and a sharp mind. But most of all, I think, is that he has a generous, loving spirit. He listens well and is very, very funny. Very witty. He sings and knows all the latest trends. He has a cd out. Ckeck it out at

To my children, he is the closest thing to Santa Claus that they'll ever know. He flies on airplanes every week, for heaven's sake. That's very cool to a kid. He has lots of neat toys. Like an ipod, laptop, and camera phone. Plus, the last time he visited, he brought Silly String! And when he's here for a long visit, each kid gets a date with him that usually includes a trip to Target. He plays in the floor with them and listens to what they have to say. What more could you ask for as a kid?

But the thing that I've observed over the years is the way he's grown up in Christ. He went from being someone that I admired to being someone I respect. For me, that says a lot. There is something tangible about a man who loves God. It eminates from him in waves. If a man says he loves Christ but really doesn't, you can tell. But if a man adores Christ, he doesn't even have to say anything, you can just tell. Patrick has a strength and peace about him now. It above all else makes him beautiful.

Chris' dad is a wonderful model for his boys. He loves the Lord in a strong, steady way. And he loves their mother fiercely. He has more love in him than almost any other person I've ever known. Except his sons. There is a familial bond there that amazes me. It's not the kind that makes them call each other every day. It's stronger than that, all that's not necessary. They know that they love each other. And I am a part of that now. I am their daughter. Margaret calls me their "daughter-in-love". (I won't talk about Margaret now, she's a completely separate post.)

I see my husband and brother-in-law and father-in-law and I am humbled. They each love the Lord in their own way that leads me to trust even more. They make the people around them more beautiful. That's the way God designed it to be.

I look at my sons with joyful anticipation.

This is what Patrick's CD cover looks like. Posted by Picasa

Roller Coaster

Why is it that when everything in our lives is going well, that we expect something to go wrong? Maybe it's because something always does go wrong. What I mean by that is, life is a roller coaster. With ups and downs and curves. So we do cycle in and out of the good and the bad. The problem with me is that when the good times are here, I'm not enjoying them full force because I'm not relaxing...

The other problem I have is second guessing myself. Like this blog. I am loving writing these posts, whether anyone reads them or not. This is the way I really think. (scary huh?)I don't sit at the computer trying to come up with something that sounds good. (obviously) I have to share my sin and insecurities or else I'd have nothing else to write about. I know that God is with me in all that I do. And it's through my contemplations that I listen for Him.

But I struggle with the fine line between pleasure and pride. If God gives me something to do that I'm good at, it is worship to be thankful and enjoy it. I mean, that's what the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is all about.

Q.What is the chief end of man?
A. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

I think that if I'm only enjoying the circumstances that I'm in at the moment, then I'm bound to be disappointed. Because like I said before, things change and cycle. But God is constant. He is in all that surrounds me. The things that I view as tragic, He knows to be good. And I can trust Him. And when His 'good' is an enjoyable kind of good, then I need to realx and enjoy it. And at the same time enjoy Him.

Aren't we sweet?! This is Kim and I when we lived in the trailer in Jasper in 1975. It looks like a pic of Ellas and Brody. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 24, 2005

This is my Mom in 1981. It's funny how most of my concrete memories are from when she looked like this. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Tonight, I miss my Mother. I miss her very much.

I can see so many things in my mind. Her eyes weren't a boring, old hazel. They were green with streaks of gold in them. I know this because when I was little and she'd hold me in her lap, I would stare really hard at them. They were exotic looking. Her hands were small. Her fingers were long and slender with fingernails shaped just like mine. Maggie's are a lot like them. But her skin was very white with freckles. I can see the way she formed her mouth when she talked. Her top lip was smaller than mine. My lips are like my Dad's.

I was in a store the other day and I smelled her. Smell is a powerful thing. In that moment, when I closed my eyes, I could hear her heart beating under my ear. Just like when I was a little girl and I would lay in her lap at night while she watched MASH. I would lay there with my eyes closed and let the smell of her powder and perfume surround me. And I can hear her humming while she played with my hair. She had a very pretty voice, kind of low. And she would hum and then stop and breathe in really deeply through her nose so she could hum longer. I loved that. I have a cassette tape of her singing. I can't listen to it though, it makes my heart hurt.

A part of me is gone from this Earth. It is a part of me that my children will never know. I have little mannerisms like her that only my Dad and sister can recognize. I have to teach Brody to say "Bubbe" by pointing to a picture. He has no idea who she is. There will be events in my childhood that will always be fuzzy because I have no Mother to clarify them. No Mother to tell me whose house we used to go to that had a giant dalmation, things like that.

Why did she have to die? Why did she have to leave me years before she died? I know some will spout trite phrases at my pain, but it's not enough. It will never be enough. I knew that she was going to die. That there was no way around it. I knew things would never get better, couldn't get better. But I still loved her, missed her. I think now I'm passed the grieving over what she was at the end, what she lived in. But I will always miss my Momma. I will always long for her to be there.

The only comfort I have is that God is sovereign. God is good. And God loves me. God loves my Momma. I cling to that more tightly than I ever have to anything else. He never left her. And only he knows my heart and my pain. He weeps with me as I weep now.

And in the voice of a Chris Rice song, 'And with her final heartbeat, she kissed this world good-bye and went in peace and danced on Glory's side'. And now she sits in His lap and hears His heartbeat. And she knows that I love her. And that I always have. Always will.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More Opinions

Tonight is the night for the continuation of 'My Opinions'. But it's actually just random thoughts. I'll keep it short 'cause I'm really tired.

I have a confession. I broke down and went to Wal-Mart. Three of my kids had colds and I needed the generic versions of Motrin, yellow Triaminic, and purple Triaminic. Now, .. I don't want to shock you too badly, but ... they didn't have any of them! I know, I shouldn't have been surprised but I was. Am I stupid or gullible or what? They had only the name brands (which I could have gotten at Food World). Why do I even try?

I've come to the conclusion that some people may never like me. I truly don't understand what's not to like but... Only kidding of course. I understand why some people don't like me. The really amazing thing is that some people do like me.

I am now officially the head of Women's Ministry at my church. Which is bizarre for many reasons. One, the Session approved my name. Two, can I possibly be old enough to do something like that?(I know I am but it doesn't feel like it) Three, I just know that I'm going to mess something up in a big way. Four, why don't people know that?

I dream about weird stuff. Like Taco Bell being inside an office building which was actually my house.

I talk way too much.

I don't understand people who like animals so much that they let them lick their mouth. That's just nasty.

I made 2 cakes tonight. They're for a baby shower tomorrow. I'm sure people will say how cute they are. But take my word for it, they are strugglin'.

I hate to shave my legs. I do it, but it's under duress.

My husband is the closest thing to perfect on this planet. I still get awestruck to think that Chris Sharp loves me. That is unbelievable. And I know when he reads this, he'll say something along the lines of "She's so goofy." But that's just cause he's embarrassed. Deep down, he knows he's cool.

My sister puts up with so much crap from me. And she doesn't seem to mind it. That's probably because she's the most generous and loyal person I've ever known. And since she doesn't read my blogs, it's safe to say that.

My Aunt Denise told me a few years ago that she always hated when we called her "Neesee". I was devastated. Not really, but it was strange. I always said it with such deep affection and it always annoyed her. Who knew?

I should be asleep now. It's gonna be a long day tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

This is my friend Kim's baby, Felix. He was in the pirate picture I posted the other day. Look at this hair! Isn't it great? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Pal Werhner

Today was the day of our big field trip. Kim and I both decided that since neither of us had bags of money lying around the house, this year we were going to really make our field trips count. So, that meant no Children's theater, no American Village, no trips that don't tie in with the theme of our studies.

Well, tomorrow is the end of a 9 week unit study on the Solar System. Maggie, Ty and Gracie each have a three-ring binder full of 'space stuff'. Maggie and Ty's are much thicker than Gracie's. They have studied : the Sun, stars, Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars and its moons, the Asteroid Belt, Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its moons, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and its moon, comets, meteors, Ptolemy, Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Jules Vern, Werhner von Braun, rockets, the International Space Station, and all things NASA. That is A LOT of stuff!

There have been lots of worksheets, science experiments, books, videos, and discussions. I felt like they had enjoyed it but I wasn't very confident of how much information had actually sunk in. That is, until today. We got about a mile away from the Space Center and pandemonium broke out in the van.

Loud choruses of "Look! It's a rocket." "It's a Redstone rocket!" "It's the Saturn 5!" They were so stinkin' excited! I was amazed. Then we pulled into the parking lot and they spotted the Space Shuttle and another round of hysterics let loose. Now I was getting excited. Kim was too.

Do you know where my kids remembered the most information? In the section on Werhner von Braun. Don't get me wrong, they remembered a bunch of other things, but that section on von Braun really brought things to life for them. They were fascinated by his pictures, his models, his desk, even his pencils on his desk. It was like they knew him or something. Ty, for one, seems to admire him. I think it has something to do with von Braun blowing up a toy wagon when he was 16 trying to build a rocket or maybe the fact that he "stole" a train in order to save his research team during World War 2. That's cool stuff to an 8 year old boy. Makes me a little nervous though.

I watched my kids run through that museum, laughing, talking and remembering what I had taught them. It was very gratifying. For Gracie to want to buy postcards of the planets because she remembered them was great. Maggie got animated when she saw a parachute. She thinks it's cool that the Orbiter and Solid Rocket Boosters use them to slow down.

I'm telling you, it was a sight to behold. And it made me think... I spend so much of my time worrying about my kids. I worry over their education, their imagination, their socialization, etc, etc, ad naseum. But I did the best I could and God blessed it. He took my efforts, done out of love for Him and my kids, and made it fruitful. It wasn't me. It was Him.

He knew when He rescued Werhner von Braun from the Nazis that, one day, a little boy named Ty would be amazed by it. God knew when He gave these scientists and engineers the ability to envision a way into space that 2 little girls would see the bigness of God through that.

He has my name and my children's names on His heart and has since before the foundations of the Earth. He is interested in all the things that happen in their lives. Because it's through the daily things that we really see God's face. I've always thought that I would see God more through miracles but didn't Jesus say "Blessed are those who haven't seen[miracles] and yet believe." I think that's in John 20:29.

Does that means we know God better and more deeply through the little things? Is that why He tells us in Deuteronomy 11 to teach them to our children when we are going out and coming in, when we lie down and when we get up, when we are sitting at home and when we are walking down the road? I don't think those verses mean we are to be spouting theology and catechism questions all the time, but showing our kids that God is present in all of those instances. I mean, these are random thoughts and I might be wrong, but lots of people saw Jesus' miracles but the ones who really, really knew Him were the ones who ate with Him, walked with Him, went to the bathroom with Him, and did all of the mundane, ordinary things of life with Him. That's where we tend to live and He meets us where we are. I think that until I realize that God is big enough to fill up my world, I won't ever be able to completely trust Him with it.

"In all your ways ackowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6

all- adj.- the whole of. noun- everything
acknowledge - verb - admit as true

My kids and Ellas "with" Werhner von Braun at the US Space and Rocket Center In Huntsville. It's not the best picture but I forgot my camera and had to take the picture with my phone.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

What Is Wrong With My Children?

That is what I was asking myself a few nights ago.

Chris and I have new friends. They're names are Evan and Leigh. They are a very fun, sweet, newly married couple.They don't have kids yet but they do have a beautiful house to which they have done a lot of renovations. And when I say a lot, I mean every room of the house. It's amazing.

Enter: the Sharps. *scary music in the background* Dum. Dum. Dum.

In one night, my children lit the candles on the enclosed back porch and then dripped the wax on the floor, the couch, and the coffee table. Oh yes, they did. Then, Gracie said the green beans that Leigh had made were "nasty." And you know Gracie, there is no such thing as quiet. After that, Maggie and Ty went into the office, turned the radio to a rap station, and cranked up the volume. Brody tried to feed their cat (who still has stitches from surgery) very small Kinex pieces. (Kinex are sort of like Legos) Ty and Gracie started playing chase... in the house. Then Maggie left her cake unattended and Brody got cake and icing everywhere. It seems like there was something else but since I don't want to cry, I'm not going to try very hard to remember.

After the cake incident, I was officially stressed out. I told Chris that it was time to GO! I could feel my face was very red and I was trying not to cry. I was really embarrassed and on top of that, I was ashamed of being embarrassed. While Chris was dealing with the kids, I was cleaning things up. I looked up and Evan was looking straight at me. I swear, he's so much like Chris it's bizarre. I pretended not to notice because I didn't have it together enough to make a pithy comment. (The pithy comment is crucial to showing that you've got it all together.) But I heard Evan whisper something to Leigh and in about 5 seconds, she was in the kitchen offering me the biggest dose of grace I've seen in a long time.

Faced with such grace, I had 2 choices. I could blow it off. Lie like a dog and say, "Oh no, I'm fine. Really. Nothing's wrong. I'm just so sorry about your stuff." OR I could 'fess up to my pride and receive what she was offering. In the face of that, I realized that an apology wasn't even neccessary. She offered forgiveness before I could even try to apologize or better yet, attempt penance. I could tell that her forgiveness and acceptance was genuine and complete. All I had to do was relax and accept it. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Lord help her, cause I'm sure we'll go back. Only this time with leashes.

This is an old picture. Ty was about three. You can see the foundation of our house above the front tire. This is Barry's motorcycle. I mentioned it in my last blog. Cool, huh? Posted by Picasa

Staying True

How does one keep from getting gobbled up by life? I mean, we all have our own existence, but it seems that it's so easy to be consumed by it. My life is set up around being a wife and mother. My friend, Laura, is a wife and physician's assistant in an inner-city ER. My friend Barry's life is set up to work (a lot) and take care of his parents and sister. And the list goes on.

How is it that responsibilities flood over us and take over our whole being? Yes, I am a mother and wife. And I love it. But I am so much more than just my responsibilities. I love to laugh at stupid jokes and ironies. I love the feel of the wind on my skin in the Spring. I love to write and read and walk through the woods. I am the sum of all my parts not just a few.

I am more than an organizer and cook and teacher. I didn't realize that fact had slipped away a bit until about a year ago. Our friend Barry took me for a ride on his motorcycle. I hadn't ridden in a long, long time. When you're on a bike, you can't talk on the phone or plan a menu. If you're the passenger, all that is possible is to hang on and experience. You can't really have a deep conversation, just snatches of it. I sat on that bike and remembered a part of myself that I'd grown apart from. I am an 'experiencer'. I feel things in a weird kind of way. I notice things. The smells, the sounds, the light on the trees, the feeling of it all.

It was that ride that changed the way I view things. I am the same person I was fifteen years ago. The only difference is that I have more life experience and many more responsibilities. But at heart, I'm still the girl that loves knee-high moccosins and Led Zepplin. I still miss my friend Lori who died all those years ago. I am weird. I am goofy and fun and annoying and emotional and talkative. I am not defined by my job or my sin or my hobbies. I am, quite simply, myself.

God created my personality and sense of humor. He created my sensitivity and all the words swirling in my head. He wants me to think and feel. He thinks I'm funny. He wants me to laugh. He wants me to be true to myself. Because when I am really true to myself, I'm remembering Him. I am saying that the person He created is beautiful. And I want to be her. It's an act of thankfulness to be me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Stupid Mouth

Have any of you ever said something that you regret later? Come on... 'fess up. You know you have. Something like.... you look across the room and comment on how much that guy coming in looks just like a hobbit and the woman next to you says.."That's my husband." That sort of thing.

Shockingly, I do that a lot. I got mad at Gracie the other day as we were getting out of the van at Food World because she had not obeyed me and put her shoes on before we got there. My comment? "No, Gracie. You cannot go barefoot. We are NOT rednecks. We do not go into stores without our shoes!" Guess who was sitting in the next parking spot, with their windows down? A car load of rednecks. Yes. I am totally serious.

In instances like that, of which there are several, I try to quickly forget it. I try to convince myself that it was an honest mistake. Or I am pounded into the floor by the voice of my Mother in my head quoting from the book of James about controlling my tongue. Which in turn, makes me resolve to try harder to do better.

But guess what? What the comment about rednecks shows, is a deep and abiding arrogance. It shows me that appearance means too much to me. It shows me that there is more sin in my life than I can imagine. It goes way deeper than surface stuff. I have a standard that must be upheld. I taught it to my kids that night, and the people in the car beside me. How is that "full of grace"? How does that show the love of Christ to anyone? It doesn't. And that deep pride is what I need to repent of, not just the hurtful comment.

Yes, I should think before I speak. Yes, I should control my tongue. But more importantly, I should remember that Christ came and sought out the "rednecks". He ate with them and was their champion. He rescued them and blessed their children. He died for them. He sought out the undesirable ones. I for one, don't want to be viewed as undesirable. I want to be self-sufficient and liked. It is humbling and occassionally offensive to know that I am a 'loser'. But I am. And thank God for it. It's a beautiful thing to know that I'm not worthy and He knows that and wants me anyway. What does Matthew 5:3 say? Isn't it something like, Blessed are the rednecks, the ones who have nothing to offer, the poor?

I have nothing to offer other than my good works, which are like dirty tampons to Him. I'm sorry if that grosses you out or seems shocking but that's what he calls our good works in Isaiah 64:6. That's what 'filthy rags' are. My arrogance is a slap in the face to the Love of Christ. It says that I am better than my Savior. I want to have something of value to offer Him. But I don't. And that is what the very definition of Grace is. John 15:16 says "You did not choose me, but I chose you." From the foundation of the world, He knew my name. And who knows, maybe even now He's calling one of the people in that car at Food World.

This is one of my favorite wedding pictures. It always makes me laugh. It's so silly and fun. Just like us, I like to think. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 10, 2005

Brain Melt

I know that you've all heard of a brain freeze. That's when you eat something cold too quickly. Some of you have even heard of brain drain, as in 'fetal brain drain'. That's when you're pregnant and can't remember anything. What I'm talking about is brain melt.

Brain melt is the phenomenon that occurs when you exert yourself mentally and/or emotionally for too long a period of time. For me, this happens after homeschooling sometimes. Today was one of those days. The kids were hyper. They didn't fight against me as much as interrupt me. A lot.

We were finishing up a study on Jules Vern and introducing Werhner von Braun. Maggie and Ty were really excited about Jules Vern. They recognized the titles to some of his books. Plus, Maggie "admired his imagination". Ty loved the story of Werhner von Braun. For those who don't know who he is... he was the first director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. He was born in Poland and then forced by Hitler to develop the V-2 rocket during WWII. Ty's favorite part was when von Braun hid his research in a mine shaft and stole a train to get his research team out of Germany. SO..... needless to say, it was a good day for learning.

The only problem with all that was, I was the one trying to curb their enthusiasm enough to finish their work! They were chasing rabbits and laughing and shooting Nazis. But, stupid me, we still had math to do. I should have done math first.

Anyway, by the time we were done with school for the day, my brain was oozing out of my ears. I tried to stem the flow with cotton balls but it didn't help. All I wanted to do was veg out on the couch with a pillow over my face for about two hours. But Brody got up from his nap.... with a dirty diaper. (can't wait for that boy to potty train!) Gracie was hungry. Ty was thirsty and there was no kool-aid. And Chris wanted to go to town for various reasons.

So I did what any woman would do, I laid the meat out for supper, got the kids in the van, and went to town. I'm glad now that I did but at the time, not so much. I thought I was really subtle about my feelings, but amazingly, Chris saw right through me... in the form of a question, "What is wrong with you?" To which I replied with the clever and godly, "Nothing. Leave me alone." How could he see through that? He must be psychic.

As with all my snits, we hashed it out. I was given time to be still and pray. He fielded the kids' questions while I leaned my seat back and thought happy thoughts. In the midst of my quietness, I heard God's voice. Does God hum? I think so. He didn't really tell me anything. It was more like He just wanted me to know that He was there too. And believe it or not, my spirit quieted before Him and peace was restored. Not to my life, just my brain.

Friday, October 07, 2005

My New Favorite Blonde Joke

My beautiful blonde best friend, Amber, sent me this joke today. It makes me laugh every time I think about it. Here goes:

Two blondes were reading their daily newspapers and one of them sees this headline :

"Two Brazilian Soldiers Killed"

She thinks a minute and then whispers to her friend,

"Psst ..... how many is a brazilian?"

If it takes you a while to get it, go check your roots.

This is Brody and me at Chris' grandmother, Mom Shirley's, house. His cousin Kacee took this picture.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Repetitive Noise Makes Me Crazy

My children hear that phrase often. Especially on the weeks when Chris is sleeping during the day. Four loud kids, hardwood floors, and a day sleeper - great combination.

Today has been a hard day. Have you ever read the book : Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Well that was Gracie today. She was contrary which made every one around her grumpy. Suffice it to say, there was lots of yelling and crying today. Ty took great pleasure in excluding her which of course made her worse.

Then the later in the day it got, the louder everyone got. Which is bad because Chris is asleep. And it's raining. They can't go outside. Maggie keeps running up and down the hall. Gracie is, of course, crying and hitting. Ty is just a loud talker and his sound effects are even louder. Brody loves to push things up and down the hallway. In one hour, I have taken away his Thomas push train, a big firetruck, a Barbie car, a musical train, a shopping buggy, a laundry basket, and a Fisher-Price school bus. The fact that I haven't broken his legs is proof of the Holy Spirit.

What do I learn from loud, inappropriate, repetitive noise? Other than bedtime is the best time of the day, of course. That's a given. It is... being a Mother requires creativity and selflessness. On occasions like this, I must put aside whatever is on my agenda at the moment and love my children. Which is hard sometimes because (I know this will shock some of you) I am a very selfish person. I want what I want when I want it. *Hey wait a minute, that sounds just like my kids.* So what enables me to leave a dirty kitchen that I actually feel motivated to clean to read a book to them or play a game with them?

Well, it's not the parenting spot on the Today show or the James Dobson book I read. It's knowing that God did the same thing for me. I was whining and complaining, hitting and kicking, yelling and crying. And yet he loved me. Desired me. Sought me out. Made me righteous. Made me His daughter. He came down and entered into my life. Called me into relationship with Him, the God of the Universe. When I'm having a bad day, He will stop and pull me into His lap and whisper "No matter what... I love you." And that makes it all okay. Being His daughter is who I am now. It defines me. Knowing that frees me to do the same with my wild ones. Noisy and sticky and contrary though they may be. I'm one of them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Far-away Friends, God and the Internet

When I was young, I had no out of state friends or relations. My entire world was centered in Central Alabama. Then my Uncle Teddy and his family moved to Mississippi and then Arkansas. But that was the exception. Plus, I still saw them as much as usual. So it didn't seem like they were even gone. I assumed, in my innocence, that life would always be that way. It's very comfortable to have everyone where you want them.

Then my sister moved to North Carolina. For a boy! (my brother-in-law Scott) Gross! But I didn't like her all that much at the time, so ... no big loss. From that point on, it seemed like way too many people started moving. Apparently, God had forgotten about our little plan to keep my life comfortable. I took the time to remind him, but as I was to learn later, God's ways are NOT my ways. Then my friends from church, Laura Childs and Rachel Ellis, both moved! Good grief. We lost touch, which made me sad.

Now, years later, I have friends all over the country. But it was my sweet friend, Jawan, who got me addicted to the internet. I can talk to my friends every day! Amber is in California - but we chat and send jokes. Laura Childs (who is now Laura Kessler) and I have rediscovered our friendship via e-mail. It seems like my cousin Brad and I only talk by e-mail. My newest friend, Angela, who moved to Mississippi against my will, and for the flimsiest of reasons (something about all her family being there... I don't know) and I talk and send pictures by e-mail. *side note- Angela, call me!* Jawan and I have never quit talking. (ok... no comments on that statement)

I guess my point is... God is big. Way bigger than is comfortable to me. Some say that the internet is full of sin and temptation, which can be true. But like with everything else, God uses it for his providential plan. I think the fact that God puts such special friends in my life for a time and then moves them away has made me trust Him almost more than anything else. It sounds ridiculously corny but friends are always connected if they have Christ in common. I can't bring myself to quote Michael W. Smith. Sorry.

Every new change reminds me that God is in complete control and He is good. Plus he loves my socks off. I can trust Him. (even when I don't like it)

This is from Gracie and her cousin Ellas' pirate bithday party. Everyone had a blast! The baby is my friend Kim's baby, Felix. He has on his pirate kerchief. Which is actually too bad because he has the BEST hair. I call it evangelist hair. Someone else has called it Conan O'Brien hair. Kim and Quinn love it. So do I! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I love taking their pictures underwater. It's so cool looking! These were taken in the pool at our vacation house in Seagrove Beach, Florida this year. Aren't they neat? Posted by Picasa

All My Children ;o) Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005

My Opinions

I have many opinions. Just ask my husband or my sister. Sometimes I share my opinions too freely. I can't seem to help it. I have a highly emotional nature. I feel things deeply. Always have.

I hate Wal-Mart. In my opinion, to shop at Wal-Mart is to feed the beast. Plus, they never have what I want. (One time in particular, I ran in for 3 things: size 4 Pampers, decaf Diet Mtn. Dew, and Cottonelle double roll. Guess what? They had none of it! Shocking!) On top of that, the employees are rude and uninformed. (Where are the staplers? Try office supplies. Where are the staplers? Try hardware. Where are the staplers? Look in household. Where did I eventually find the staplers? IN ELECTRONICS! True story.) I have never had a pleasant shopping experience at Wal-Mart.

February is the non-month. It's gray, rainy, cold, and boring. That's why God made it so short.

People who tell you, "Enjoy your time with your mother. You'll miss her when she's gone." are telling the truth. You really do. No matter how messed up she was while alive.

Racial jokes are never funny. Blonde jokes are.

When you order decaf coffee at 7 am, people look at you like you're crazy.

My cousin Jason is the only guy who has ever made me wet my pants from laughing so hard. It's true. I wish you could all meet him. Bring extra drawers.

When your spouse is Obsessive Compulsive, life is repetition. Get used to it and love them for it.

Although some think it's sick, a mother can tell who forgot to flush the toilet after pooping just by looking at it. Sad but true.

My dog is actually part hippopotamus. It's true. Ask anyone who's met her.

The older I get, the more I realize that I'm a lot like my Dad. I still haven't decided if I should be afraid or not. I'll be sure to post when I decide.

Well, I have to go knock my kids off the Pop-Tarts and teach them multiplication. Bye.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Nana and Papa with my three oldest kids 2 Easters ago. Posted by Picasa

My First Post

Well, this is my first blog post. I was hoping to come up with a more memorable first sentence but, well, sometimes you just go with what you've got.
My life is not wildly exciting. I don't bungee jump or star in a reality television show. However, my life is most assuredly not boring. With 4 kids, ages 9 and under, something's always happening. Even if it's just broken glass and stopped up toilets.
Maggie, age 9, got her ears pierced two weeks ago. Today we battle crusty ears. She is terrified of getting an infection. I think we've almost got it beaten.
Ty, age 7, caught his first fish. Actually, his first four fish. Two catfish and two brim. My Dad forgot that his cell phone had a camera. I guess I'll have to wait for the next time and then sneak the picture into Ty's baby book with a false date. Kidding, of course. *wink*
Gracie, age 5, read her first words just a few days ago. "Hop" and "Pop" WooHoo!!! *ecstatic clapping is heard* She is very proud of herself, as she should be. It's quite an accomplishment.
Brody, age 2, has decided that he can no longer go barefoot. He must wear his Spongebob Squarepants snowboots at all times. It's actually quite cute when he's just in a diaper!
Well, that's all for now. Bye!