Thursday, March 30, 2006

Odds and Ends

Today, I saw a cloud that looked just like Spot the Puppy. You know that book series? Well, anyway, the cloud was shaped just like him.

Today was Kim's birthday. We all went out to the Dragon to eat. (The Dragon is the world's absolute best chinese eatery ever!) The boys then came home with Chris and I so that Kim and Scott could have a date. Ellas got a little upset at first cause he wanted his momma. Ty comforted him. The conversation went a little something like this:

Ellas: Why can't I go with her?

Ty: They're going on a date.

E: What are they gonna do, kiss?

T: Probably. You know they can do that cause they're married.

E: Yeah, I know. That's pretty gross.

T: They might even Indian kiss.

E: What's that?

T: That's where they open their mouths and touch tongues.

At this, there was much groaning and gagging noises. I was crackin up. I asked Ty where he'd heard that. He said from Maggie, but she's denying all. So for the rest of the day, Chris and I would wait for a captive audience and then he's ask me (or I'd ask him) if I wanted an Indian kiss. Of course I would say yes and we'd come at each other with really wide open mouths and our tongues hanging out. The kids would scream and hide their faces and beg for mercy. Chris and I had way too much fun grossing them out.

I randomly thought of a question.... if you get Rogaine on your face and hands when you're washing your hair, do you get really thick facial and knuckle hair?

I talked to Amber for a while tonight. I love cell phones. It was really nice to just hear her voice. It made me admire all those people who left home to settle the west. Some of them never saw or heard their families again. Wow, that's hard.

Why do land developers call themselves that? Cause their not. They build mass settlements and scalp the land. I hate it. I mean, I really hate it! It's so ugly and unnecessary. Why can't they just leave a few trees? And why are the houses so close together? Do you really want your next door neighbor to be able to hear you go to the bathroom or yell at your kids? Not me!

Last thing... Brody's new thing is to say "Oh Man!" It is absolutely the most comical thing I've seen in a long time. He'll cross his arms over his chest, drop his chin and whine "Oh Man!" Cracks me up.

Well, I'm going to bed now. And tomorrow, Kim and I are taking the kids camping at Stone Mountain. And the fun part is we're taking Terri too. Ha! She's so fru-fru. I can't wait. But I do admire her willingness to learn for the sake of David and the kids. I'll try to get a picture of it. It should be funny. She hates dirt, bugs and woods... all of which are there in abundance when you camp!

Good night!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Oh The Things We Can Think

Dr. Suess wrote a book with that title. But I'm thinking more along the lines of 'Oh the Things We Can Learn'. It's amazing the things that I learn when I'm preparing a lesson for my kids. This week we're studying the Byzantine Empire. Sounds a little dull at first but it's pretty interesting. Justinian was a cool guy.

Last week we studied monks and monasteries of Britian. The kids got to make quills out of wild turkey feathers... btw, thanks Bill. They used different things for ink: grape juice concentrate, ground hickory shells, etc.

Next week, we'll study the "Islamic Invasion" of around 700 AD which should raise some good theological questions from the kids.

Lots of learning going on in the Sharp home... most of it mine. ;o)

Friday, March 24, 2006

3 Kinds of People

In my opinion, there are 3 basic kinds of people.

The first kind are the people who notice if even one thing in their home is out of place and cannot sleep until it's put back in order. These people are called freaks.

The next kind are the people who don't even notice that things are growing in their refrigerator or bathtub and wouldn't care if they did notice. These people are called slobs.

The third and last kind are the people who notice things are out of place but don't have the compulsion to make it perfect. They have relatively clean homes that look lived in yet comfortable. Their toilets are cleaned once a week, the fridge is emptied once a month, and the floors are vacuumed when the dirt starts sticking to their socks. They want to be freaks but think of themselves as slobs.... these people are called normal.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Being Stubborn

We have a rental property. We've had it for a number of years and to be honest, it's a bit of a hassle. It's worth it but it can be a pain. We don't make any money off of it but it can be used to help people. We're about to rent it out again and have to redo the power service connection. When Chris tried to get under the trailer, we discovered boxes of junk had been stored under there. They've been there for who knows how long and are now infested with spiders and antbeds. AAHHHH!!! I have to get under there today while Chris is sleeping and clean it out so that the meter can be installed tomorrow.

In this situation, my attitude stinks. I know it and feel completely entitled to it. I mean, renters should have integrity. If they owe you money, they should pay. If they're supposed to clean it up when they move, they should clean. If they're supposed to empty the refrigerator, they should empty it - not let it sit there with no power to it for 2 weeks until I discover it on my own. Gross! People should keep their promises. Even if they don't feel like it.

As I sit here, I know I'm being stubborn. I know I'm being judgemental. I know, in my head, that I'm in sin. But it feels completely justified. So what do I do? Wallow a little more? Maybe. Forgive? I don't wanna.

How does one forgive anyway? I always thought it was this sort of condescending practice of letting someone off the hook. Or maybe even making excuses for them. That's always been my favorite. But I have come to realize that forgiving someone else has more to do with my sin that theirs. It's me forcing my eyes to be open to all my sins and admitting that I'm just as bad as the person who wronged me. Spiritually, it feels like Brody looks when I'm trying to give him antibiotics: mouth and eyes clenched shut, hands balled into fists, trying to get away. I know that my medicine(the gospel) is my only hope but I'd rather be sick than repent. Sad, isn't it?

To see my own sinfulness, makes the sin of others look pale in comparison. To see the great, great love of God towards me while I was still dead in my sins leads me straight to forgiveness. To forgive, gives me the freedom to clean up their mess without anger. Sure they're still wrong, they should have kept their word but that's between them and God. I can feel empathy for someone stuck in their sin. After all, that describes me most of the time.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Somethin Ain't Right

Are some kids just more aggressive by nature than others? Or is it some flaw in my parenting skills? Or is it both?

I sense a glaring blind spot in my life and no matter how hard I try to see it, I just can't. I pray and listen. I examine and compare. I feel it there, just out of sight.

Part of me wants to grab ahold of it and figure it out. The other part of me is afraid to know. Because, obviously, that discovery will show me my sin, insecurities, and failures. I don't like being embarassed. But I know I'm screwing up and not sure in what way.

I don't need advice or encouraging comments. I know God will show me in his time. And I know that he takes care of my kids no matter what I do. All this pressure I put on myself is unnecessary. Why do I still feel it then?

I guess I'm double-minded. I want to be perfect... for my own purposes. But at the same time,
I want to be holy... for the glory of God. I don't want my kids to have to overcome me in order to have a relationship with God. I want to show them the way to Christ. But come to think of it, the best way to do that is by showing them how the Gospel applies to my failures and successes.

So, at the end of my rambling, I see Christ. I see that this struggle is a part of my sanctification that he is in control of. I see him drawing my kids and I can't take credit for it. I feel encouraged and yet still fuzzy. He is here in the midst of my sin and confusion. He is here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Homebody

People who know me think I'm a liar when I say that I'm a homebody. But I really am. I love being at home.

Kim is all the time talking me into going places. You see, I'm the extrovert and Kim's the introvert. But I like being at home and she likes keeping the roads hot. Whenever she talks me into a road trip, I end up doing all the talking and she just sits and watches me. Well, of course, that's not true... she does her share of talking. But I'm the dominant sister in public. At home's a different matter. But that's a whole other blog.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my lovely green armchair, reading my new Reader's Digest. Chris was busy with a project at the kitchen table, Brody was asleep, and the other kids were playing Legos. (They were trying to build Celtic warrior sets) Life was peaceful.

It was then I realized that the majority of our time spent at home is peaceful. The kids don't fight all that much... they have their moments but not lots. They enjoy each other for the most part. But when I take them out in public, all bets are off. They get bored and bickery.

As I sat there, it occurred to me that I like being at home because I can enjoy my kids when we're at home. Sometimes I like going places, but only when the urge is overwhelming or necessary. (I do not take my kids grocery shopping... we will eat grass and sticks first. They are panic attack-causing in a grocery store.) I like having people over to my house. That way I can enjoy my kids and my friends.

There are a few exceptions to this rule. Dad's, Kim's and Margaret's. The kids are used to being there and they have stuff to do. Kim Hill's is getting to be that way.


Side Note:
We ate at Boo and Evan's again last night. Much better this time. No spilled wax or near death experiences. I have to tell you, their cat is amazing. Brody played ball with it for thirty minutes. I'm not kidding. Brody would roll a golf ball to it, it would swat it around and then roll it back. Another game was Brody rolling the ball down the hall and the cat would reach it's paw under the office door and try to grab the ball. Brody would scream and laugh until he had the hiccups. Very funny!

That's the news from The Sharp Life. Night.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I'm Back

Well, I'm back. What a week. Very busy and demanding but oh so fun. Prepare for a long post.

Monday, I took the kids to my Mother's parent's house. My PawPaw has dementia and my Nanny has Alzheimer's. They are beginning to fade away. These are the grandparents who took us on summer vacations to Disney, Six Flags, Gatlinburg, Stone Mountain and Opryland. Now, they can't remember my kids names. The whole situation makes me recognize the futility of this life and then I hope for heaven.

Tuesday, we went on up to my Dad's mother. Granny is in her eighties and almost exactly as she was when I was a kid. She may be a bit slower but she's still just as mean. Well, not mean... just very opinionated. She cracks me up. She has a certain way of doing things and you just need to back up and let her do them. Kim and I call it her 'groove.' "Don't throw Granny off her groove!" She loves to laugh and the older I grow, the more I realize that I'm a lot like her. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, we headed back to Birmingham. I knew I wouldn't have time to go all the way home, so I went to Kim Hill's house. Brody took a nap while the other kids played outside. It was lovely! Isn't it funny how some friendships sorta sneak up on you? Our's is that way. At first glance, it doesn't look like we have much in common but wow, we're so much a like. Only she's much prettier. She is a faithful friend to me. God uses her to teach me a lot. Like fashion. She and I loaded all 7 kids up and went to Cato. It's a clothing store. She picked out the cutest top for me to buy to wear to the Day of Whimsy. I looked good. Thank you, Kim.

Wednesday night, we spent the night with Chris' grandmother as usual. It was fun. I get to watch cable at her house. Which means I stay up way too late watching HGTV.

Thursday and Friday were spent completely devoted to ironing out details for Saturday. Not tons but enough to keep me busy. Thursday night the place that donated our tables burned to the ground. So early Friday morning was spent getting more. No problem. Very simple. God worked out all the details. Friday night while setting everything up we discovered that the linen service had given us completely unsuitable tablecloths. So Kim and Terri made a mad dash for Sam's to buy some. God, again, worked out the details. We had fun and everything that could be done ahead of time, was done.

Saturday morning, Kayla (my jr. high friend/intern/slave) and I got up at 6:30 and went to the church to finish up and pray. Things got rolling at 9:00 and went really smoothly. God worked out the details. All the members jumped in and did what needed to be done. The visitors seemed to really enjoy themselves, the seminars went well and the luncheon was awesome. The food was yummy and plentiful. Way too much fruit salad though. Mrs. Barker had prepared a lecture but was moved to share her testimony instead. I've never heard a clearer or more compelling Gospel presentation in my life. God really used her words.

All in all, things went well. I didn't feel rushed or stressed. Let me take that back... my stress never became full-blown. ;o) It was amazing to see God use us. He used Kim Hill and Connie in the music and Leslie and Ingrid in the kitchen. And the list goes on and on.

God brought together over 100 women Saturday. And I learned something in a more concrete way... God is in the details.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

So Sad and Blue

Well, not really sad and blue but a bit lonesome. Chris has been gone since lunch yesterday and I miss him terribly. He'll be home in about 3 hours but I'll probably be asleep by then. You'd think I'd be used to his being gone after 12 years of working like this. But I still hate it. I still hate being apart for that long.

That's all I wanted to say. And I'm not sure why I wanted to say it to all of cyberspace - but I did. Good night all.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Maggie's Joke

Maggie to our friend Boo: Knock Knock

Boo: Who's there?

Maggie: Boo

Boo: Boo who?

Maggie: Boo - you!

She and Boo found this highly entertaining.

Warning and Welcome

Okay, consider yourself warned. I won't be posting very much this week. I expect to be pretty busy. Remember that Women's Ministry event I talked about a while back? Well, it's next Saturday. It's gonna be really great. Not because of me but because of the amazing women God has placed on the leadership team. They have done sooooo much work. My job is to oversee. So this week will be my busiest. I have to make sure all aspects work together, plus I have to put together and print out programs for the day of.

If you live around here, please come. It's gonna be fun. Seriously.

Today, God gave me a glimpse of how he's sanctifing me. (Is that how you spell that?) I was talking with a friend and I think, simultanously (sorry, can't spell tonight) we realized that God had changed us. It was really neat. I totally see how sinful I am, sometimes it seems worse. I'm aware of my sin more now. But at the same time, I see him changing me. Making me holy. Very lovely experience.

I'm rereading 'Blue Like Jazz'. I really love that book. If you haven't read it, go... run, now. Go find one. It will make you think and God will get bigger. You know what I mean, he's already big but you'll realize it. For instance, on page 8 he says "For me, however, there was a mental wall between religion and God. I could walk around inside religion and never, on any sort of emotional level, understand that God was a person, an actual Being with thoughts and feelings and that sort of thing. To me, God was more of an idea." I know what he means. I can go days sometimes without really thinking about God. I can even read my Bible without thinking about him. I think about religious things or things I've learned about God, but that's not the same. He is real. He is here. He participates in my life, my thoughts. Think. Really think. Acknowledge. Say Hi. It's a start.

One more thing, I don't think I've mentioned this before but I've made two new friends, named Adam and Jessica. They just got engaged. Yeah!!! Anyway, Adam is possibly the most talented musician I've ever met. He can sing, write, perform, play lots of instruments. He's amazing. Wednesday night, I could hear him in Stokes' office, playing the piano. I stuck my head in to say Hi and he was standing with his side towards the piano not looking, playing one handed and carrying on a conversation while he played. That blows my mind. He's got a CD out and he better be working on another one. (That's me being intimidating, in case you missed it.) His web site is part of www.indiecommunity.com Look for his link - Adam Wright.

I'll try to post at some point this week. But if I don't, please don't hate me.